The Power of Friendship: How Choosing your People impacts your Calling
It was a Tuesday morning and my husband was off to work right after an early morning workout. I slept in, so I rolled out of bed after he was gone. I went downstairs and saw I had a pretty flexible calendar. I didn't have any client calls booked, so I had a full day to work on a freelance writing project.
I made my coffee, sat down at my desk, and didn't speak to another human until after five pm.
Later I told my husband that as an extrovert, and a creative, that day was tough for me. Transitioning to full-time entrepreneurship is such a joy, but it can also be lonely. My only coworker is a very cute mini goldendoodle pup who isn't much of a conversationalist unless there's a squirrel in the backyard.
I know I'm exactly where God needs me to be right now but I also know that who we surround ourselves with impacts our calling.
I think a lot of the time when we think about our calling, we start to wonder how we could be doing more, how we could manage our time better, how we could steward our gifts to squeeze out just a little more.
Whether you're a stay at home mom or running your own business, we all long to fulfill God's call on our life in the best way we can.
We're often asking, "how could I walk in this calling better?"
I think a better question is, "who am I walking with?"
The difference between a life of impact and a mundane life might just be our friends.
Choose your Friends Carefully
In the past, a lot of my friendships were born out of convenience. I chose to hang out with people who were in similar seasons, who lived near by, and who liked to do the same things as me.
There's nothing wrong with having convenient friends, but it's not giving friendship the same weight as it has in the Bible when we're told,
"The righteous choose their friends carefully" (Proverbs 12:26 NIV).
Our friends directly impact our lives with God and how we're walking with Him. We have to be careful and selective with who we invite on the journey. Sometimes, your work bestie is the perfect person to invite on the journey because your lunch break chats and coffee breaks spur each other on in the work you're doing.
But sometimes, even though that relationship is convenient, God might be calling you to carefully select someone to speak into your position who isn't so familiar with it.
This is just one example. In any case, we are given the freedom to choose our friends, but we are cautioned to choose carefully.
Who are you walking with?
"Walk with the wise and become wise" (Proverbs 13:20 NIV). We all know the famous quote that we will become a sum of the five people we spend the most time with. Maybe that statistic isn't quite right, but the principle is biblical.
Proverbs 22:24-25 says, "Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared." It's human nature to pick up on the habits of the people around us.
Who you hang out with will impact your calling; whether you see it or not.
Over time there's a big difference between people with a scarcity mindset and people with an abundance mindset, or people who speak disappointment and hopelessness over situations and people who speak the power of Jesus' name over situations.
When we start to feel like we aren't making progress and wonder what to do to correct the feeling of being stuck, I think it's often as simple as looking beside us.
Who are we walking with, what are they speaking over us and our calling, and is that something we want to embrace and continue with?
"Good for you!" Friends
Walking with people makes every victory more exciting, and it simultaneously makes everything more difficult. We are all complicated and we all bring different gifts to the table while also inviting opportunities for miscommunication and disappointment. (Just being real here...)
In my calling as a writer and communicator, I used to look for people who would come alongside me and persevere in the hardships. I wanted friends to be encouragers and prayer warriors when things got tough. Then, one day, I realized I didn't just need friends who are strong in suffering, but friends who are eager to celebrate.
My enneagram seven personality loves to celebrate. Celebration also invites us to glorify God, I even think it can be a spiritual discipline.
We're told to "do to others as you would have them do to you" (Luke 6:31).
Personally, I want to be the friend who sees the struggle but also never misses an opportunity to celebrate. I've started calling people like this "good for you!" friends, because they'll never miss the opportunity to say, "wow, good for you!" and give God the glory.
To persist in the calling God has for you, you need people who will intercede when things get tough but also never miss an opportunity to say, "good for you!"
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Check out these related posts: "What does the Bible say about Friendship?" and "Friendship Breakups"