Monday, April 29, 2013

Don't Let Others Dampen Your Fire

Do you know what you are here for?

I'm quite serious with that question AND I have a followup question for you.

If you don't know what you are here for, are you trying to figure it out?

There are many things that can deter us from living the life we have been called to live. Some of these things are the very people that make up our little circles. Similar to the Google circle, we have circles of friends, family and acquaintances that can have a strong influence on our lives. The question you need to ask yourself is whether they have a positive or negative influence.

Within these circles we will find 2 different types of people: Flame Fanners and Fire Extinguishers.

Flame Fanners: these are those you need to keep closest to you. These are the people you can count on in times of need, those who support your cause and passions and especially those who pray for you. Flame fanners do not simply agree with everything you say, they sport opinions of their own and offer up creativity to problem solving. This inner circle should be well kept. Make the time for these people in your life. Plan breakfast or coffee dates, nurture that relationship and be willing to be a listening ear for them as well. These are your base of support and will be there when it feels like the road is too long. They will give you an unexpected phone call or email "just because". Most importantly, they believe in your mission here (or they support your passion to find your mission) and stand behind you wherever your mission takes you.

Fire Extinguishers: These are the louder of the two people, unfortunately. They question everything you feel called to do and offer up no support towards your calling. It seems as though every chance they get, they point out your flaws. It can almost seem as though they spend their spare time making a list of flaws for the ones around them! These are the ones you dread seeing and quite frankly, the ones you need to see less of. I know, they may be in your family (HOPEFULLY not your immediate family!), but the truth is that they do not serve to help you. They may help grow you and mature you, but subjecting yourself to constant scrutinization is not the best way to grow in your calling. Begin by first realizing the value of those who fan the fires of your passion. Then, allocate time for those relationships. If your Fire Extinguishers are in your family, spend time with them, but don't allow their fiery words to dictate any of your feelings.

By knowing the difference between the types of people in your circle, you'll be better prepared to deal with both as they come around. Remember that some are simply here for a season. Sadly, those can often be our biggest supporters, while the extinguishers tend to hang around for a lifetime! Remember to be grateful for those who cheer you onward and pray for those who try to pull you down. They often do so simply to fill a space in their own life. They feel as though if they point out others shortcomings, people will be too busy to see theirs. They can be turned into a fan, just trust in God's timing and keep on moving forward.

Live life to the fullest today!

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