>(I cannot take credit for all of these wonderful questions, Julie Richard spoke a beautiful message to us @ Journey church Monday night, and I am sharing some of the thought provoking points that really made me think!)

I got the great blessing of getting to go to “Girlfriends” at Journey Monday night, and am so thankful I went. Stacy kept the boys, and I got to spend some time with a few of my favorite people. The message was amazing, and I’ve been thinking about it today, really asking myself what kind of friend I am, and what kind of friends I have in my inner circle.

Julie told us that a herd of zebra are called a dazzle. She said that when one zebra is being chased or hunted it will run to it’s dazzle, and the predator will become confused by all of the stripes and will leave them alone. Pretty fascinating.

She then used that point to talk about our closest group of girlfriends – and whether they help us dazzle or not. Here are some of the points/questions she used, and hopefully these will help you, too!

Are you a balcony friend, or a basement friend?

A balcony friend lifts up and encourages. A balcony friend is happy for you when something good happens in your life. A balcony friend prays for you, and knows that God has a dream for your life. A balcony friend encourages you to reach for that dream.

A basement friend wallows around in the wah-wah, is jealous or angry when something good happens in your life, and doesn’t do much to help you reach for the dream God has for you.

(Oh boy…I don’t want to wallow around in the wah-wah…I want to be a balcony friend!)

Are you a Labrador, or a vulture?

A Labrador is loyal, faithful, and quick to forgive.

A vulture is a betrayer, and offers no forgiveness. They pick at everything until there is nothing but bones left.

(Again, I’m thinking, Oh boy, do I pick at everything like that??)

Are you a fire-putter-outter…or a pot stirrer?

She really applied this to social media comments, but also to in-person comments too.

If someone says, “Oh ya know, she’s just so blah blah blah” about your friend, do you harmlessly say “I know what you mean.” or do you keep your mouth shut? Sometimes we don’t have to say something that is directly bad to stir the pot. Sometimes those harmless comments aren’t so harmless.

She advised us to avoid the drama. Just walk away from it. Don’t stir the pot.

We should all follow Jesus’ example to love everybody. Yet even Jesus had his 12 friends that were closer to Him than the multitude as a whole, and inside the 12, He had 3 that He spent the most time with. We should use discernment when picking who we will allow to speak into our lives – love everybody, but look for friends that will help you, pray for you, and encourage you to reach your God-given potential, because God is whispering, and it’s hard enough to hear Him over the husband and kids and every day life – we don’t need to be sorting out the voice of a negative friend (or friends), too. Everybody has bad days, but if your friends are wreaking havoc on your life, it’s time to ask God to help you find friends that want what God has for you!

Please share your thoughts!

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