I once heard someone say, "You show me your friends and your bank account and I'll show you who you are."
Jim Rohn an early mentor to Tony Robbins, says it like this, "You are the average of the five people you most associate with."
The people you surround yourself with directly informs the life that you live. Years ago someone talked to me about 7 must have relationships:
I hear people say that God should be their #1 priority. The sentiment is great, but God cannot simply be a priority that we give attention to and move on to our next priority. He is the center of ALL my relationships, considering He is, the prototype for each relationship we strive for. The Father is the greatest example of how we should steward parenting. Jesus is the best friend that all of us need. The Holy Spirit is the constant teacher and comforter that leads us in life. So on and so forth.
3. Close Companion
In other words who is your BFF? Who’s your RIDE or DIE? Who’s your “I’ve seen you cry, laugh, scream, rage, and be an idiot... and I’m still your best friend?"
All of us need a person that we can stand back-to-back with. Who will call us on our stuff and have the equity to laugh about it later. Having a friend as close as a brother is good for the soul.
(From this point on there is no specific order.)
Who is the person in your life that challenges you to become better? That inspires you to grow? Kobe had MJ, Tom Brady had Joe Montana, and Ansel Adams had Paul Strand. Maybe they challenge you from a distance; a professional athlete, musician, pastor or leader.
5. Wise Counselors
Somewhere down the line people stopped getting wisdom from a counsel of people and started getting advice from a mentor.
Thinking, "Maybe if we meet once a week for 2 hours at a Starbucks with a triple tall vanilla latte I can grow and get better.” Let’s just be completely honest, usually that time looks like one person monologuing for 7/8ths of the time and the “mentor” eventually saying a blanket statement, just wanting to get out of the there.
We need people who will counsel us through each area of life. For example, would you ever go to a banker for a diagnosis of a soar throat? NO! But for some reason we try to bring our issues to the same person, pastor, or leader in hopes that they can lead us. FIND WISE COUNSELORS!
6. Sandpaper People
These are the type of people that you CANNOT stand to be around. A pastor once said, “I can get along with about 97% of the people on earth, but there is a 3% that I absolutely loath for no apparent reason.” In other words there are people that just by preferences clash against you. They are like sandpaper, grinding against your proverbial paint until all that’s left is the raw surface of emotion. We need people like this so that we can grow in compassion. If you cannot befriend, tolerate or love a sandpaper person who has the same values as you do, how do you expect to love someone who doesn’t share your values, beliefs or lifestyle.
7. Hit It and Quit It
Believe it or not all six of the aforementioned relationships are high maintenance, as they should be. Your relationship with God should be simple, but not lazy. I love my family, but there are definitely times when the last thing I want to do is talk on the phone for 45 minutes. Your relationship with your BFF will inevitably cause some long drawn out listening sessions and coping sessions. Your sandpaper person….. Well…..
But each of us need a friend that doesn’t require a high maintenance relationship. Someone who is always down just to chill. Watch a movie, play a game, laugh really hard and at the end of the night head home without leaving baggage behind. They are our hit it and quit it friends.
Life is about relationships. At the end of the day who cares what you’ve accomplished if you don’t have anyone to share it with.
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