A while back I met a few people for tea. On the way home, I was feeling..…odd. Discontent. Judged. Invisible. It was really weird. I felt like I had been an unnecessary person at that table, 90% of the talking being done by the others, and when I was asked a question, it felt patronizing, and when I was given a compliment, it felt back-handed. So it seemed.
And then I realized that I had felt that way the past few times I had gotten together with this group. And I asked myself, “Then why do you keep meeting with them if you walk away feeling this badly about yourself each time?”
So I stopped. Brand new concept. Brand new freedom.
I was sharing with someone how I had come to this realization..…how not good enough I felt around this certain group and how shamed I felt and how small I felt, and how I was giving myself permission to sort of faze these people out of my life, how they not only weren’t supportive and were unessential to my well-being, I hate to say, but they made me feel crappy…..and she said she felt the same way about someone else but she had never given it much thought.
I think sometimes as Christians we feel like we have to be best friends with everyone. But we don’t. Jesus had a circle. And in that circle, he had an even smaller circle. Nowhere in Scripture does it say that Jesus trusted every person he met and shared a meal with every person he met and told his deepest, darkest secrets to every person he met. He chose wisely.
The same goes for you. Not every person in your life can be trusted with your heart. That’s sad but true. And some people are just not going to be in your corner no matter what you do.
Now, I’m not giving you the green light to be mean to people. And I’m not saying you should only have people around you who make you feel like a rock star at all times.
But the people who are in the inner circle should be trusted. They should keep your secrets. They should be kind to you. They should not yell at you. When there is truth to tell you, they tell it to you gently. They should mourn with you when you are mourning. They should dance on the tables with you when there’s something to celebrate. I will go so far as to say that most of the time when you are with them, you should feel better, filled up, respected, loved, more whole than when you walked in the room.
But if you feel depleted, defeated, condemned, laughed at, kicked while down, unforgiven despite your best efforts..…sweetheart, that is not a friend. I will not go so far as to say that’s an enemy, but I will say you need to find other people to pull around you. Your friends should be a shield from the outside world, not someone your heart needs protection from.
So be kind. But be wise. Your heart is too precious and important and deserving of your protection to just let anyone in.
As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. -Proverbs 27:17
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