Who are your friends? Are they always there for you? Do they always have your best interests at heart? Are they truly your friends?
I believe that “friend” is one of the most overused words in the English language, especially in this day of social media. If you’re like me, you literally have 100s of acquaintances, but very few true friends.
What is a Friend?
- Someone who you engage with on a regular basis
- Who you are invested in and them in you
Have you surrounded yourself with people who meet this definition? Many people don’t. Instead they surround themselves with negative people, those who only pull them down and don’t lift them up.
Only Surround Yourself with the Best
I’ve made a conscious decision in my life to only surround myself with those who truly care for me, those who love me and want to help me be a better me. There are only a few, including my wife. I refer to this as my “inner circle” and it has the following characteristics:
- Based on demonstrated behavior
- They are regularly there for me and me for them
- They support me in my endeavors
- They don’t beat me down, but love me
#4 doesn’t mean they agree with everything I do, but they tell me in a loving way, coaching and guiding me, without the negativity or sarcasm (subject for a future blog).
Everyone Else is in Your Outer Circle
Everyone else but those few are in my “outer circle”. Now you may think that doesn’t sound very Christian. Or you’re not sure how those in your immediate family or longtime friends could be in your outer circle. I’m here to tell you that they can. I’m not suggesting that you completely turn your back on them, but instead think of them as opportunities for ministry.
Everyone wants to be loved and everyone needs the love of Christ (whether they know it or not). You/we need to love everyone, but that doesn’t mean that you should count on everyone to love you and support you….
- Some are incapable because of what they’re dealing with
- Some won’t take the time
- And there are some in this world who are just bad people.
Love Makes for True Friendship
Matthew Kelly of Dynamic Catholic, one of my favorite authors and speakers, defines love as helping others become better versions of themselves. That’s the measure I suggest we all use. Are those in your life helping you be better, be your best? If so, they should be in your inner circle (by the way…you need to reciprocate their friendship). If not, it’s the outer circle where they should go, as a great opportunity for ministry.
Be intentional with who you call “friend”. Pick wisely. Make sure they are worthy of your inner circle. Work and grow to be better together, loving one another the way Christ loves you.
Please share with me your comments and what you think about “inner circle” and “outer circle” at Mark@MarkJosephMinistries.com.
May God Bless you with Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!