Shows Main Idea – Friends come in all stripes. Some of them are a joy to be with while others are annoying. In this podcast, I address seven critical things to consider when engaging annoying friends.
There is a person who wants to be my friend. I like her fine, but we’re on two different pages spiritually. I’m not saying I’m a better person, but she likes to talk about superficial things all the time.
Each time I share what God is doing in my life, she has this blank stare and eventually changes the subject. She’d rather talk about others than herself. She is not fun to be with and after a few minutes with her, I feel drained. What are some things I should consider about picking my closest friends? I don’t want to “unfriend” her, but it feels wrong to let her into my most inner circle.
1 – Do You Need Her?
Are you unable to tell her “no.” Can you tell her hard truth (in love) without fear? Meaning, does she have something you want? Do you fear her rejection or want her acceptance? Read this on how to break free from the opinions of others.
2 – Divide Your Friends Into Two Groups
Friendships fall into two broad groups: those who do the will of God and those who don’t. Within each group are “degrees of closeness” to you. Jesus had many friends who did the will of God, but all of them were not in His bubble. Peter, James, and John seemed to be closest to Jesus. There were others who loved Him, but they did not have full access.
I have many friends who love God, but all of them do not have equal access to me. Of course, I have many unsaved friends (those who don’t do the will of God), and they are at different “lengths” from me too.
3 – Close Friends Are Reciprocal
Your closest friends must be mutual regarding transparency, honesty, and truth-telling. There must be reciprocal benefits within your most intimate relationships. If a person is not willing to meet you where you are and contribute similarly, they cannot be in your inner circle of friends.
4 – Close Friends Are Transparent
Many people have a hard time being honest about themselves. They talk about other people and things, but they are not willing to turn the spotlight on themselves. You do not want that kind of person in your inner circle. That is not a reciprocal friend, but someone you must lead.
5 – Limit Your “Draining” Friends
You have to determine how many “consuming” friends you want in your life. Here are five things to help determine how many draining friends you want.
- Is God leading you to serve this person?
- Do you have a consistent context to speak into this person’s life?
- Is this person open to your care?
- What is the purpose of this relationship?
- Factor in that this person may never change.
6 – Learn the Value Of Saying, “No.”
Learn the importance of saying “no” to those who want into your inner bubble. Jesus was willing to not meeting expectations. He was “okay” hurting a person’s feelings if it was for their ultimate good.
- He rebuked Peter.
- He did not meet Mary and Martha’s expectations.
- He told the rich young ruler a hard truth.
7 – You Must Control Your Time and Space
You are in charge of your time and space. Do not give the control of these things to others. Do not let people manage your calendar, mental space, time, values, and priorities. You must carefully steward your life, or you will be full of noisy people. I’m not saying you should be rude, but you must steward your soul and practical life. If you don’t, someone else will.