Choose Friends Who Lift You Up

There’s enough negativity in the world

Photo by Yanapi Senaud on Unsplash

Choices.

We make them every day, even when we don’t realize we are choosing.

Growing up, I hovered between circles of friends. It may sound amazing, being friends with everyone, but instead it proved challenging.

The challenge?

These circles didn’t interlock like the Olympics symbol. No, these circles were spread apart like wheels on the bus. They went round and round in and of themselves, but their molecular structure kept them apart.

Can you relate?

What I didn’t realize was when I chose to hang with one circle, I was choosing not to hang with the others. I didn’t see it that way, but they did.

We tend to label groups and the people in them, don’t we?

Most labels are based on behaviors, or status, or intelligence. So in essence, we judge.

We need to peel off the labels and cleanly. Not like peeling off price-tags on gifts, leaving that sticky residue.

And what about those inside the circle? They’ve made that choice. They are solid in their circle. Unlike those of us who tend to hover on the outside who want to be included but don’t want to exclude. Because we know how it feels to be excluded.

I didn’t want to choose, but by not choosing, I was choosing. I hope that makes some kind of sense, and by now you may be nodding your head. You hover, too. Either that, or you’re scratching your head, but stay with me.

What we need to be choosing are circles of friends who lift us up.

We don’t have a choice as to who our family members are, who we work with, who we serve in ministry or in business, but we can choose our friends.

We would hope by the time we’ve entered adult-world, those cliques and clusters of tight-knit groups would melt away into one big hello and welcome. Well, that’s not the case.

We continue to be excluded, maybe not intentionally, but we do. We continue to mix and mesh and try finding where we belong. We see those pics on social media and wonder, hmmm, seems our image is missing from those groups of smiling faces. We can stop that right now. We can smile and be glad that people we like and some whom we love are having a great time.

Maybe instead of sitting back and waiting for that invite, we need to be doing more of the inviting. When we take the initiative to set our own course, we can surround ourselves with people who care about what is going on in our lives. We can surround ourselves with positivity, creativity, and productivity.

Because we don’t have time for toxicity or all those other ity words that keep us back from reaching our true potential. It doesn’t mean we have to always be doing, doing, doing, it just means we can add meaning and purpose to every moment we breathe by the company we keep.

It’s similar when it comes to walking by faith. We can’t serve two masters, either we’re all in it with God, or we’re not. We can’t have one foot in the circle of truth and the other in the circle of the world.

Because we are to be in the world, but not of it. I didn’t make that up myself. It’s in The Book.

But we’ve done that, haven’t we? To be a part of a circle and to be accepted we dip a toe back into the circle of the world.

But things are not always what they seem. We may think the world means toxic places and toxic people. We may think it means toxic behaviors like addictions, promiscuity, gossip….

We may not realize, when we choose doubt, worry, fear of the future, greed, pride — we’ve stepped back into a worldly perspective.

We may not realize that when we choose all of that, we’re not choosing all of Him.

So there’s a choice to be made.

Do we choose Jesus? Do we choose joy, and peace, and freedom?

Do we choose a healthy diet of friends who lift us up and help us get back on track when we doubt, worry, and fear?

Let’s choose God and let’s choose those people who truly care and truly believe in our dreams.

It’s Ok to Be Different

It’s okay to feel like an apple in a roomful of oranges. Do something crazy, apples of the world, and stand out and stand up.

The choices we make today can impact our future in small ways, big ways, and eternal ways. We shouldn’t be striving to push into circles, we should be striving to widen the circle of peace, creativity, and togetherness.

It’s by no accident the earth is round.

Surround yourself with friends who will lift you up and be around when things get hard and things get ugly, because those are the people we will want surrounding us when we celebrate those beautiful moments life brings.

I know a friend who always lifts us up, His name is Jesus. Have you met Him? For more info you can check out my meet Jesus page.

Blessings for a refreshing new year with a circle of friends who share in your joys and don’t turn and run in your sorrows.

Choose friends who lift you up.

Can I send you something? Check out my free Goodbye, Regret study guide and prayer journal. Hope it blesses you as you begin this new year.