Relationship Series: Part II

How to properly define, qualify and categorize relationships in your life!

All of us have been totally shipwrecked in different types of our relationships in life. Understanding and taking the time to inventory the friends and people in your life can prevent a world of hurt. As Christians, we need to inventory the fruit in the people will allow close to us and also inventory the fruit in our own lives. I believe it is critical that you understand the different kinds of relationships and parameters or boundaries that make up each type of relationship. Once you understand this then you can put the right person in the right category and avoid a whole lot of hurt. This is important because when you begin to put expectations on a relationship it was not designed to be, you will get hurt every time. Some of you have people on your "crazy" or "secret hate" list that don't need to be there because the fact is that you are responsible for putting yourself in a bad situation and they were never supposed to live up to your expectations.

Many of you go to work and get upset because your coworkers aren't supportive. The goal of work in not to find friends. The goal of work is to get paid. It's a place where you trade your time, energy, gifts, in exchange for wages. You shouldn't be going to work to find counsel or a best friends or a deal or a confidant or a go to work to get paid. There is nothing carnal or unholy about that. Work is meant to be an exchange of your education, time, experience, talents in exchange for money. A similar analogy is that you don't sleep with your friends...or wake up with them either. When you do that, you are making that relationship give you something it was never designed to give. A whole lot of pain is headed your way because certain relationships were never meant to operate outside of certain boundaries.

Another example is you don't tell an acquaintance your secrets. You don't tell your problems to those that work for you. All problems go up not down. In case you are wondering why, those under you want to know your problems so they can use it against you so they can have your job. I'd like to help you simplify your life and define three major types of relationship categories today. The first one is your constituents.

Your constituents are people that are not for you personally. These people are temporary in nature and will come in and out of your life. These are the people that are drawn together for a common cause. Let me try and use an example that most can relate to. In your place of business, they call you out of your office along with several people from different offices or divisions because your employer is going to market or launch a new product line. You are now going to a meeting with people you most likely don't even know at all but what brings you together is the fact you are all working on the same marketing project. Constituents are people that come together for a common accomplishment. These people don't care about you personally...they care about a common cause. This is important to know because if you don't understand the purpose of a constituent you will be hurt when they go. When the purpose of a the common cause or goal is accomplished they usually don't stick around.

In life, we all go through many different seasons and in each season you often have different constituents. You need to understand that these relationships were never designed to be permanent. Another example of constituents is the group of parents you meet if your child plays on a varsity team or league. During the season you have a lot in common but as soon as the victory has been gained or the season is over, they usually leave. God never intended them to be permanent relationships.

The next group of people you will have in your life are your comrades. Comrades are against what you are against. For example, you may all be against child abuse, homelessness, hunger, gun violence, etc. There are countries whose policies and government the United States doesn't agree with but they will ally with them to fight a greater enemy and they are comrades even though by themselves they aren't friendly. We come together because we are fighting the same enemy. By definition, constituents and comrades are temporary. Your life have many seasons. God governs life by seasons and as seasons change, God will bring people in for that particular season. As your passions change and as God changes what He is doing in your life, many of the people will change also.

Now what everyone really wants is a confidant. These are the people that are totally into you. It's not about what you are for (causes, etc). It's not about what you are against. These are the people that love you. They are there when you are up and they are there when you are down. They don't care about how much money is in your pocket. It's not about what you can bring to the table or what you can do for them. It's not about how gifted or talented you are. They love you no matter what is going on and these are the people that go the long term distance with you. If you have 2 or 3 confidants in a lifetime, you are truly blessed. Now this is the area that has so many people empty. We are not empty over our comrades or constituents. They come and go like the wind. Not having confidants though will leave you isolated, depressed, with a void and feeling empty. How do you know if you have a confidant? When you walk into the room an