Today, I want to share something with you that's been on heavy on my heart lately. Friendship. Sounds simple enough right? Wrong! It's anything BUT simple, especially when you have friends who are different or were raised differently than you, who have different beliefs and who may or may not live far away. There are thousands of things that can alter your friendships, but who is worth overcoming the obstacles for?
At my church Sunday, the message was about your circles. I automatically think about Meet the Fockers when Jack tells Greg that he is no longer in the "inner circle" of trust. Ha! Ok, back to church- the pastor spoke about 3 rings of your circle,
- the center ring being your Circle of Intimacy which should contain your spouse, parents, and anyone who you would trust your life with.
- The next circle going outward is the Circle of Influence, which includes most of your friends, anyone who can tell you "You look chunky in that dress" and you immediately throw the dress away.
- The last, and outer circle is your Circle of Concern, which may include folks that are considered acquaintances, or people who you've clicked with, but need more time before you bring them into an inner circle.
Proverbs 22:24-25 Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare.
1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”
Oftentimes, I am the one who gets called when some one's life gets a curve ball. I don't mind this AT ALL, I love to comfort and talk someone through tough times. I feel like I have a nurturing spirit and if that's what God gave me, then I'll use it on anyone who comes to me needing comfort. Still, I feel like I only hear from some of my friends in the event of a tragedy... they've split up with their love, their dog died, they have to move, they don't know who to date, they've had some sort of medical set back and are on bed rest with no one else around and they are bored so they call me! Wow! Really? I'm your last resort?
Proverbs 12:26 One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
Proverbs 13:20 Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
Most of my friends are not in the coveted Circle of intimacy, and that really saddens me! And in all honesty, most of my friends will drift off for a few years, then get back into contact. And since I move around so much it was difficult to stay in touch... in 1999, but now- with the obscene amount of technology- there shouldn't be any excuse! So, do they really belong in ANY of my circles? Do they uplift me? Do they encourage and support me? Do we have heart to heart chats about MY life? Do we have bible studies together? Do they inspire me to get closer to God? Do they even really pray for me like I do them every.single.night.? The answers will probably break my heart. So do I consider them dead weight and cut them loose no matter how much it breaks my heart? It's a tough one, my friends. But don't I deserve to have healthy friendships?
“Is any pleasure on earth as great as a circle of Christian friends by a good fire?” - C.S. Lewis