Believers Need Inner Circle Relationships

By Tacoi Bell

This post was written by Tacoi Bell of The Anointed Editorial. To connect with Tacoi, see the information in the bio at the end of this post.

The older I get, the more I value having a few relationships of quality instead of having numerous relationships that don’t add to my life. And while I want to engage in reciprocal relationships where I can truly unwind, that lead me closer to Christ, and where I can share my heart in confidence, I recognize that I sometimes put friends through a strenuous test before I allow myself to let down my hair in vulnerability.

I’d like to believe that this is a more positive quality than a negative, but honestly, I’m unsure. However, what I am assured of is that in Jesus lies the example for literally everything, including how to conduct yourself in friendships.

Inner Circle Friendships

In Jesus’s group of twelve disciples, even he had an inner group. We see his most trusted disciples with him in the garden of Gethsemane in Matthew 26: Peter, James, and John.

If we learn anything from the example of Jesus when it comes to friendships, I believe the lesson is that it is okay to have some friends that you trust more than others. Don’t get me wrong, there is a certain appreciation for those relationships where closeness isn’t a demand and the connection is on a surface, superficial level. But in those relationships where closeness is the currency, there’s such beauty in being able to give yourself — all of yourself — in freedom and without judgment. 

I have to wonder what Jesus’s special three thought when they saw his face covered in blood from sweat (Luke 22). Here’s an image of our Savior, as he prepares to give his life for us, vulnerable before his friends in his final moments. Peter, James, and John to some extent understand what Jesus is going through, although largely they do not; this is why he invited them to be with him at the end. And I’m sure they had questions, but they did not judge him.

a group of men are have their arms wrapped around each other

Everyone Cannot Come Into the Inner Circle  

Now, none of us could ever be Jesus because we are not God, but imagine that you are going through the trial of your life to the point that blood is oozing from your pores. Who are the first people you would call? Those are probably the people you feel the most comfortable and open around.

You probably have many friends. But you recognize that of all your friends, you handpick a select few to see you at your worst. This is the truth that we must all face: Not everyone that we interact with can make it into the inner circle of friendship.

When you face challenges in your life and you want to throw in the towel, you need people you can call on for prayer and support. Everyday, run-of-the-mill relationships are not like that. You want someone in your corner to help you celebrate the highs and get through the lows.

How to Know the Difference

The Holy Spirit is the best teacher. It leads us into all truth (John 16:13). When we allow the Spirit, coupled with our discernment, to guide our relationships, we can be sure to find ourselves among the right people. Even if you connect with people who might be out of the will of God for our life, we can trust that God is a great protector of his children and will speak to us about the harm of the relationship.

Deep, sacred relationships that honor God are valuable to the kingdom. We can look at Jesus’s friendships with Peter, James, and John as examples of the importance of having the right people in your corner. 

Featured photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash; in-text photo by adrianna geo on Unsplash

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