It doesn’t matter the nationality, race, age, background, economic status, or profession – I believe every person is longing for a deeper connection and is searching for a clear direction. God designed us to have deep and healthy relationships with others. He also designed us to have clarity of vision and direction for our lives.
Whenever Liz and I have the privilege to counsel and pray with people – most times than not the things that we pray about are just the symptoms in their life that correlate to a lack of one of these areas: A lack of deep and healthy relationships or a lack of clarity of vision or direction.
When people surround themselves with the wrong kinds of relationships who have no clear vision or direction for their life, they ultimately make unwise choices.
I am convinced that the health of your vision is directly connected to the health of your relationships!
Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, people cast off restraint…”
This verse implies that people who have no vision have no life focus or discipline. However, living a life of restraint is living a disciplined or focused life. I have found that people who are undisciplined usually make unwise life decisions. People who are focused and disciplined typically make good life choices.
Proverbs 13:20 says, “When you walk with the wise, you become wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.”
If we are going to do what God has called us to do and live a life that’s on a mission, with clear vision and direction, then we must take inventory and look at the health of our relationships. We can’t continue hanging around what the Bible calls a “companion of fools” and believe that we will be able to fulfill our life purpose and calling.
Dr. Myles Munroe made a statement years ago that people quote all the time all over the world:
“Show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future.”
Here are 5 Types of People (or fools) we all need to avoid:
1. The Rut
What it looks like – The rut is the person who doesn’t have a passion or hunger for personal growth. The reason why they have no hunger to grow is that they’re not teachable. When there is a lack of teachability, there is also a lack of humility. The rut thinks they know it all. They will always blame circumstances, situations, or other people for where they are at. But they will never take responsibility for where they are at or where they are going. Pride is the root cause of stagnant personal growth. When we stop growing, we stop learning and eventually stop getting better.
What you can do – If you have a friend whose life seems stuck – love them where they are at, but challenge them to change their thinking about their circumstances and connect them with resources and tools to help them grow. Sometimes, some people just need a friendly kick in the pants to knock them out of their funk. But sometimes some people need a major shift and breakthrough in how they think and how they see themselves. You may be the very friend to help them make that shift. But it’s their choice to choose life (growth) or to choose death (stagnation). But keep this in mind, people who grow and people who stagnate naturally don’t run in the same circles. Surround yourselves with friends who are growing and moving forward, so you are empowered to encourage, strengthen, speak life, and speak purpose into those who need a shift in their thinking and their identity.
2. The Energy Vampire
What it looks like – The energy vampire is the person who every time you get around them they suck the life and energy out from under you. You know who they are. You dread knowing when you get around them – whether it’s at work, family reunion, or a social party. The conversations usually revolve around their problems and complaints. They provide the “emotional dump” on you so they can have a release and feel better. The problem is that energy makes a withdrawal from your energy reserve, and you have nothing left to give afterward. Here’s the problem, when you spend too much time with people that suck the life from you, the consequence is that you will not have enough energy to give to others and to the people you love.
What you can do – Surround yourself with people who lift your spirit and who bring life into your world. You know who they are too! They’re life-givers. The reason why they can give life and energy away is that they have surrounded themselves with other life-givers. Life is too short to consistently be around energy vampires. God has called you for such a time as this. It takes energy to walk out that calling. It also takes energy to stay in the fight to see your dreams become reality. Surround yourself with people who call out the best in you and who speak life into your world.
3. The Drama Queen/King
What it looks like – This person’s storyline never seems to move past the conflict stage. It seems like they are always having a conflict somewhere. There is always someone making them unhappy and someone to blame. And, if they’re not in the current conflict, by golly they will go out and find one! This person chooses drama as an attitude and attracts it wherever they go. They fret over the petty things and have a way of turning everything into a major life crisis. Not only are they the rut and the energy vampire at the same time, but they actually like it. For drama queens/kings they only see themselves as the only major character in their life story and it’s hard for them to see anyone else unless it involves conflict.
What you can do – The only thing I can say about drama queens and kings is to block and delete their number and while you are at it, unfriend/unfollow them on social media. Your life will never be drama free, but you can definitely block those who love to attract it.
4. The Negative Nancy/Ned
What it looks like – The people who we call negative Nancy or Ned are the folks who don’t have a revelation of the power that’s inside of their words. Proverbs 18:21 says, “The tongue has the power of life or death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” I like to put it this way,” the words you speak will be the fruit you eat.” The truth is that your world is framed by your words. The atmosphere in your home is shaped by the kind of words that are spoken in your house. How do people talk inside your house? What kind of music do you play? Do you always have the news on? You may work with a boss, a coworker, or have a family member who constantly speaks negative words about situations, circumstances, or about other people. And, there may be a situation going on that is negative. But don’t allow the negative words or the negative report to be the final statement.
What you can do – Choose life, then speak life into that situation. When negative Nancy or Ned begins to talk. Begin to overtake the atmosphere by speaking life and shutting that negativity down! People who are positive and speak life know how to lift the atmosphere around them. Surround yourself with people ( or better yet) be the kind of person, who knows how to charge the atmosphere with words that are filled with life, faith, hope, and love!
5. The Flake
What it looks like – There are many people who value your time and who are excited about making plans with you. Why chase people who don’t follow through? Sometimes people are going through life stuff which makes them unavailable – and that’s totally understandable. But there are those who simply flake and have the inability to manage their time well and therefore something always comes up. Well, that gets old, fast! The friend who says they have no time to see you, not true. They simply don’t want to prioritize their time on you.
What you can do – Don’t let people take you away (or waste your time) from those you are meant to do life with. People who consistently flake on their friends are probably flaking in other areas of their life too. The last thing you want to do is keep chasing a flake. Your time and your friendship is too valuable. There is an old saying, “go where you’re celebrated, not where you’re tolerated.” As we continue to grow and build healthy relationships, I’m reminded of a quote from Pastor Kevin Gerald, Champions Centre in Seattle, WA, “Not all relationships are meant to be forever. Some are for a reason. Some are for a season. And, some are for a lifetime.”