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1: Do You Need Them
Does this person have something that you need? I’m loosely using the word need. Of course, you don’t need them in the strictest sense, but we can elevate people to a place where they control us. We call it the fear of man when we want something from them, e.g., “I need you to accept me.”
2: Friend Groups
Friendships fall into two broad groups: those who do the will of God and those who don’t. Within each group are “degrees of closeness.” Jesus had many friends who did God’s will but were not in His innermost bubble. I have friends who love God but do not have equal access to me. I have friends who don’t do the will of God; they are at different “lengths” from me.
3: Reciprocal Friends
Your closest friends must reciprocate regarding transparency, honesty, and truth-telling. There must be reciprocal benefits within your most intimate relationships. If a person is unwilling to meet you where you are and contribute similarly, they cannot be in your inner circle of friends.
4: Transparent Friends
Many people have a hard time being honest about themselves. They talk about other people but are unwilling to turn the spotlight on themselves—in appropriate and biblical ways. You do not want that kind of person in your inner circle. That is not a reciprocal friend but someone you must lead.
5: Draining Friends
You have to determine how many “consuming” friends you want in your life. Here are five things to help determine how many draining friends you want.
6: Learn to Say “No.”
Learn the importance of saying “no” to those who want into your inner bubble. Jesus was willing not to meet everyone’s expectations. He would hurt a person’s feelings if it were for their ultimate good. He rebuked Peter. He did not meet Mary and Martha’s expectations. He told the rich young ruler the hard truth.
7: Control Your Time and Space
You are in charge of your time and space. Do not give control of these things to others. Do not let people manage your calendar, mental space, time, values, and priorities. You must carefully steward your life, or you will be full of noisy people. I’m not saying you should be rude, but you must steward your soul and practical life. If you don’t, someone else will.
Rick launched the Life Over Coffee global training network in 2008 to bring hope and help for you and others by creating resources that spark conversations for transformation. His primary responsibilities are resource creation and leadership development, which he does through speaking, writing, podcasting, and educating.
In 1990 he earned a BA in Theology and, in 1991, a BS in Education. In 1993, he received his ordination into Christian ministry, and in 2000 he graduated with an MA in Counseling from The Master’s University. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).