Sun | Sep 22, 2019

People to keep out of your circle

Published:Saturday | August 17, 2019 | 12:07 AMCecelia Campbell-Livingston/Gleaner Writer

This is the first of a two-part series on circle of friends

Keep smiling, keep shining

Knowing you can always count

on me, for sure

That’s what friends are for

For good times and bad times

I’ll be on your side for evermore

That’s what friends are for

Dionne Warwick – That’s What

Friends Are For

The company you keep says a lot about you. The kind of friends people associate themselves with normally influence the way they think, behave and feel about themselves and about life. For this reason, it is very important for you to choose wisely the kind of friends you let into your circle. When it comes to the Christian life, however, it is even more important as it could be the difference in the walk of faith or crumbling under pressure.

Family & Religion reached out to Rev Marie Berbick, empowerment speaker and ordained minister, on the issue, who stated that the people around you are the biggest influence in your life.

She said not only do they influence your attitude, they also influence the results that you get out of your life.

“They are powerful, they influence what you think and what you do. So if you have been stuck in the same non-progressive routine, the same non-progressive pattern, maybe it is time to pause and take a look at who you have around you,” she points out.

Christians, she said, should be very discerning about who they allow into their circle or it could see them going down the wrong road.

According to Berbick, although Jesus ministered to all, He kept a tight circle with his 12 disciples . She said the same remains true for us and she gives a list of friends to keep in your circle:

Level-Headed Friend

This kind of friend, she said, will give honest advice and not try to butter you up because they don’t want to risk offending.


This kind of friend, she said, will always have your back no matter what. Just like Jonathan in the Bible was there for David, even warning him of his father’s own plans to kill him.

You need lift-me-up persons

These are the people whose positivity will spill over to you, adding value to your life. They will take you higher.


These friends, according to Berbick, are there to lift your spirits and pick you up when you are down in the dumps. They will celebrate your achievements and be genuinely happy for your success. In whatever situation, they will be the boost you need to go the extra mile in the times when you feel like quitting.

Spiritual mentor

Every believer, she said, needs a spiritual mentor in their life who can offer spiritual guidance.

“Someone who will guide you spiritually – normally this is a sound man or woman of God who will guide you in your decision, cover you in prayer, someone who will pray with you and pray for you,” she said, adding that there will be times when you are just too weak to even pray for yourself; that mentor will engage in intercessory prayer for you.

Destiny Helpers and the life mentors

These friends, she said, are those who have seen some things that you cannot discern and will advise you accordingly.

They will teach you to do things that they have already mastered and will come into your circle to use their wisdom and knowledge to lift you higher, someone you will eventually want to emulate.

Citing biblical examples of that kind of relationship, Berbick mentioned Elisha and Elijah and Paul and Timothy.

“We all need destiny helpers, somebody who has lived through something you may be facing. They can make a difference in your life to change how you think,” Berbick said.

The Jolly fellow

Laughter is the best medicine, and as Berbick stated, everyone needs laughter in their life. She said one shouldn’t go through life being serious all the time.

“Laughter is good for the soul, so you need that kinda person who will crack you up and provide stress relief through humour,” she said.

Next Week: People to keep out of your circle