The Three Questions Used to Determine Who’s in Your Inner Circle
Uncommon Relationships: Experiencing the Seven Levels of Relationships – Part 6
“and my close friends [Relationship Level 4] have forgotten me.” – Job
These are the words of Job who during the toughest time in his life is seen to have experienced problems in relationship level four. His closest friends had forgotten him. In this relationship series, we’re defining the seven levels of relationship so that you never have to experience the same pain Job felt. This particular lesson is on relationship level four, your closest friends. Better known as your inner circle. If we can understand this better then the potential for problems greatly reduce.
Relationship Level Four
Level four relationships are friends who are more involved in your life and are much harder to get rid of. They are the ones you’ve chosen to befriend and they’ve chosen you to befriend. In this case it takes two breaks to separate you from this relationship. With your inner circle it takes more than you just getting upset, your inner circle friend doesn’t end the relationship simply because you’re upset. You can’t lose an inner circle friend that easily.
“Friends are the family you choose (~ Nin/Ithilnin, Elven rogue).” – Jess C. Scott
In the previous lesson, relationship level three, we discussed the one-sided friendship. It’s the friends you choose and not necessarily because they choose you. In relationship level four, the difference is the friend you choose also chooses you.
The Thought or Concept:
“If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear?” – bible.com/bible/116/1CO.12.14-19.NLT
If we are all alike, meaning no difference between you and those you relate to, what good is having a relationship in the first place. The key to any relationship is to be made better because of the differences you see in another.
The inner circle is what I call “the two-way” relationship. In the digital television industry, they have what’s called one-way set top boxes and two-way set top boxes. The one way set top box provides access to digital programming, but it doesn’t allow for interacting between the source and destination. Therefore it has very limited functionality. The two-way set top box however, is able to communicate back with the source. It provides an interactive interface allowing the destination to talk back to the source and vice-versa. It provides the recipient with a wide range of features for their entertainment needs.
Using this example we can picture the difference between the level three relationship and the level four relationships. Level three (friends) is like that one-way set top box and level-four is like the two-way set top. Instead of simply being able to view digital television content, now you’re able to obtain premium channel lineups, record and store your favorite shows, and get access to on demand content. The inner circle friend is the friendship that provides additional features. Let’s discuss the benefits of the level four relationship using the example of Jesus’ inner circle, guys we know as Peter, Johns, and John.
Benefit 1 – Get to go behind closed doors.
One day Jairus, a leader of the local synagogue, similar to a church pastor, met Jesus as he disembarked from the boat in which he was traveling. Jairus’ daughter was very ill, to the point of death. Obviously, Jesus was his last hope for saving his daughter. Jesus in route to Jairus’ home was interrupted by a crowd and this is where we find that famous account of the woman with the blood-issue who receives her healing. Meanwhile, messengers arrived with news of Jairus’s daughter’s death. What a blow. Nonetheless, Jesus continued to the synagogue leader’s home, but he did something interesting. Keep in mind that Jesus rarely traveled alone and he rarely had times where crowds of people didn’t follow.
He dismissed the crowd of people, only taken with him, Peter, James, and John. At the home of Jairus, the people that were gathered laughed at him as he told them that the girl is only asleep.
He made them all leave his presence with the exception of Peter, James, and John.
The crowd laughed at him. But he made them all leave, and he took the girl’s father and mother and his three disciples into the room where the girl was lying. – bible.com/bible/116/MRK.5.40.NLT
Sometimes all you need are your closest friends when you get ready to do something you’ve not done before. Not everyone can go with you into the room where you use your greatest gifts. Your closest friends are the only ones you take with you behind the closed doors of your life.
Benefit 2 – Get to be a part of what I’m becoming.
Six days later Jesus took Peter and the two brothers, James and John, and led them up a high mountain to be alone. As the men watched, Jesus’ appearance was transformed so that his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light. – bible.com/bible/116/MAT.17.1-2.NLT
Jesus again takes with Him His inner circle. The three had an inside viewpoint into the king of kings. They watched as He transformed before their eyes to talk to a couple people who’d already gone to Heaven. Not everyone can handle the life experiences that make you, you. Only those closest to you can appreciate it, respect it, and be honored by it. That’s why they’re called your inner circle.
Benefit 3 – Get to be with me through my greatest tragedies.
He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. – bible.com/bible/116/MAT.26.37.NLT
Once again you see this trio (Peter, James and John) privileged enough to be with Jesus. In His darkest hours He needed His inner circle with Him. Your inner circle are the people you call to be with you when you face life’s toughest blows. Who’s in your circle?
Unlike the requirements that make one a friend as defined in relationship level three, the requirement for level four is more involved. A person in your inner circle is tested and not very many will ever make this list. I have three questions you can ask to determine your inner circle.
- Who can you trust to go behind the closed doors of your life?
Now that you know the benefits of having an inner circle, who in your life would you have go behind closed doors with you?
- Who are the friends you don’t mind sharing your inner thoughts with, thoughts of who you are becoming?
Everyone can’t handle where your life is headed, who you will marry, what employment you accept, the business you’re starting, or the life you have planned. Who are the people who can accept you as you? Who are the people who don’t mind seeing you transform?
- Who are the people with whom you can share your deepest pains?
Life can and will bring us some serious blows. That’s life, but who will you have with you to share these moments? If you don’t already have them, establish some relationship-level-four friends. Create an inner circle. Life will make sure you need some. Who are the people who can share in your deepest pains?
There are some relationship levels you can do without, but this one is one you most certainly would not. Having people in your inner circle will keep you from losing your mind when times are tough and will celebrate you the most when you reach your greatest achievements.
Today is Friday!
There are three things to look for when making or inducting someone into your inner circle. One, can this person go behind the closed doors of your life? Two, can this person celebrate you as you transform into the person you’re meant to be? Three, can this person share in your deepest pains? For an inner circle person, all these answers will be yes.