Circle of love. Circle of life. Circle of friendship. Circle of prayer.
We can put a circle around anything, can’t we? It’s not really a bad idea. I used to worry about my place in others lives instead of their place in mine. Then, I learned from another preacher’s wife how to think about my relationships in circles. I thought I’d share it with you just in case you are having relationship issues. It involves thinking about the people you interact with and have relationships with in various tiered circles.
Now, I am a visual person, so I literally drew circles and everyone I interacted with were placed within the circles. Here’s an example:
I started with God. He knows everything there is to know about me (duh!) and I can tell Him anything and know that it’s going to stay between us. Then, right outside of God’s circle are PB and my MB. They are the people who know me best after God, and I trust them to tell me the truth and love me most.
In the other layers of circles are family, friends, co-workers, church family, classmates, etc. that I interact with throughout life. A person’s position in my circle can change – they can move in and out – but I’m the person who makes those changes. So, if I let someone into one of my inner circles and they prove later to be a mistake, that’s MY fault for letting them in. If you choose to place people in your circles, remember that they may not necessarily think about your relationship at the same level in their circle. For example, if you choose to pour your heart out to someone in confidence that it will not be revealed to others, and in return they tell your business to someone else, there is no need to get mad at them. You just made a mistake about their position in your circle. This revelation has saved me a lot of heartache and drama!
On the other hand, there are those who may start out in outer circles that gradually move into inner circles with time. The time needed to build related experiences, to build trust, to build love, to build friendship.
Friendships that are honest and encouraging. My circle includes some wonderful sisters who look past the PW title and love me for me. I can count on them to criticize my cooking abilities, to send me a text message just when I need it most, and to drop everything and pray with me when needed.
15-16 So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.
17-19 Stick with me, friends. Keep track of those you see running this same course, headed for this same goal. There are many out there taking other paths, choosing other goals, and trying to get you to go along with them.
It’s important to have people in your circles with the same goals that you have.
As we move through 2013 with our focus on Philippians 3, take some time to review your circles. Are there people you need to shuffle around?
Off and Running!!