Ever heard of the expression, “birds of a feather flock together”?
I’m sure you have, it’s pretty common.
Now, if I were to explain it to you, would you get it? Because on the surface level, many people seem to understand this phrase to mean that two or more people with the same background and/or common interests hang together.
Think about it, really think about the influence that friends have. I mean sure, friends generally tend to like the same things. And sure, they may even socialize because of this same common ground. But do you know the extent to how impactful friendships really are?
Friends have the ability to mold a person’s identity. They influence your ideas, desires and life long goals.
Take for instance, someone who is always motivated by the people around them to do better. Because a friend has a great relationship, well paying job, good education, and so fourth, this motivates the person to go and get the same things. They see the value it adds to their friend’s life, and so to be in good standing, they want those same things too.
This sort of power, depending on the example that your friend(s) set, can either stimulate or hinder your personal growth.
Spotting The Real From the Fake
You can always tell if a friendship is beneficial depending on which direction it’s pushing you.
True friends encourage, motivate and push you to do better. Toxic friends belittle, discourage and pull you away from where you need to be.
True friends highlight your strengths whereas toxic friends magnify your weaknesses.
True friends use their words to build you whereas toxic friends aim to destroy you.
True friends will make sure that you do not backslide whereas toxic friends will want to see your demise.
Why your inner circle is important?
You need people who are dependable in furthering your relationship with Christ.
In simple terms, there shouldn’t be people who make your life difficult nor should they be pulling you from progression. Fellowship is a support system designed by God to keep others held accountable and responsible for their thoughts and actions. As written in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one who will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (KJV)
Essentially healthy (or fruitful) friendships are biblical, it’s in the Word of God itself.
In case you were wondering, yes we are not meant to be alone. God has created us to be social beings with needs to love and belong. The enemy loves for us to live in deception. Whether it is we are left with the wrong crowd, or left alone, his scheme is to ensure that we are so far off from God that we are distracted to fulfill our purpose. (there’s a difference between wanting alone time and just never wanting people to be too close to you, ever.) When you are in damaging friendships, the devil’s target goal is to ensure that you are trapped with a tainted image of how love is suppose to be. Those counterfeit relationships are designed to knock down our trust, and to build deep layerings of resentment and bitterness.
The reason so many people have a hard time trusting others is because of the failed relationships they’ve had. Because they were unable to see the wrong (in which both they’ve committed and what others have), they give justification to not let anyone else in. Speaking from personal experience, I’ve learned how damaging this is as it becomes hard to properly love others (given if you yourself have not known love as you therefore cannot reciprocate it.)
Thankfully, God’s Word provides instruction on how to treat one another. In Romans 14:13 it reads, “let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.” (KJV) In short, God calls us to be humble and loving amongst one another. No person is better than the other as we all are part of the same body (in Christ). We share one Father, and all take part of His purpose. For this reason, it is necessary that we learn to love another as He has loved us (John 13:34).
Going back to self investments
When you are at a point in your life where you want to do better, you will need to make some sacrifices. And with this sacrifice, comes subtracting factors you were once comfortable with.
As we hear and experience for ourselves, not everyone wants to see you become great. It is natural, and is part of the process in becoming successful.
We cannot change how people are but we can change who we are. When you take away the distractions in your path, your vision becomes so much clearer allowing you to see what God has for you. You won’t want to have a negative influence hanging around you as “bad company corrupts good character.” (1 Corinthians 15:33)
You won’t have the desire to hang around those who compare, gossip and judge. Those who are at the same place and same level of thought. Instead, you will desire people who are at a similar or stronger level of understanding as you looking to be taught and corrected. They are looking for constant growth, and support to keep that growth steady.
The decision to start over can be painful but remember that the change is for you!
(To see some quick quotes relating to faith, purpose and motivation, please take a look at my Instagram Page @radiant.fuse and Twitter @radiant_fuse. I love you all and I hope you are having a great week ! ❤️)