Mon | Sep 23, 2019

Protecting the family circle - Part 2

Published:Saturday | August 24, 2019 | 12:08 AMCecelia Campbell-Livingston/Gleaner Writer

(This is the second of a two-part series on Circle of friendship)


Blades are long, clenched tight in their fist

Aimin’ straight at your back

And I don’t think they’ll miss

(What they do!)

(They smile in your face)

All the time they want to take your place

The back stabbers (back stabbers)

– Backstabbers – The OJays


Last week Rev Marie Berbick, empowerment speaker and ordained minister shared with Family and Religion the impact one’s circle of friends can have on one’s life. She mentioned five must-have friends who can prove beneficial in the circle. This week, Berbick highlighted the kinds of people who could be detrimental to include in that closely knit circle. She pointed out that some persons cannot be part of your life if you plan on going places in ministry or making progressive moves.

Berbick said that it might be hard letting go of some toxic relationships, but the propect of never really being able to live your best life should prove to be good motivation to do so. Having the courage to close the door on people who don’t belong in your circle, she said, can open windows of opportunity and provide room for you to grow and enjoy God’s blessings.

“Some doors will never close if you continue to gently push them up, while leaving enough room for the person to squeeze through and come back.

If you want to move on to great things, if you want to walk into destiny, some doors cannot be handled with kid gloves, you got to slam them shut,” she stressed.

Berbick gave a list of people to keep at a distance, and topping it are the Judases. She said that just as in Biblical times when Judas betrayed Jesus, she said there are modern-day Judases who have wreaked havoc in persons’ lives once they are allowed into their circles.

“Too many of us have felt the sting of betrayal by people we have trusted, but the world cannot be without them. You’ve got to put on the full armour of God to protect yourself,” cautioned Berbick. She advised that it will take discernment and the guidance of the Spirit to sift through those who come under the guise of good friendship.

Watch out for leeches

Leeches are also to be avoided. Berbick said that they are the kind of people who are constantly taking from you without ever giving anything back. According to her, they are in your life because of what you can do for them, as well as the opportunities you can provide.

“They are in your life because of the doors you can open for them. I have seen this over and over, even in ministry, where people seek access to you because of what you can do for their ministry and never about what both of you can do for each other,” noted Berbick. She said that if ‘leeches’ are around, they will end up leaving you depleted, sucking you dry, as you will always be the one to be giving.

A one-sided relationship in which one partner does not reciprocate, said Berbick, is off-balance and one that should not be entertained.

The ‘passersby’, as Berbick termed them, are those people who come into your life for a season and are not meant to stay.

“God allows them to come into your life because there is often a lesson he wants to use them to teach you or vice versa. Sometimes these are the people who will take from you then move on when you can no longer serve their purpose.

“They move on when someone else with a bit more to give comes along. These are people who should never be selected for your inner circle,” observed Berbick.

She said that many make the mistake of thinking that they should hang on to such people, and she reminded that friendships will start and they will end. Not everyone, she said, is meant to be “your forever friend”.

“God wants to use them to teach you a lesson. Learn the lesson and move on,” Berbick said.