Your Support Circle of Six

A trusted friend and counselor once told me that it’s hard to have more than six meaningful relationships in your life at any one time. Even that number may be tough, depending on your personality and where you are serving. Her point was that while you probably have many acquaintances, the spiritually edifying relationships you need tend to develop within a smaller circle of friends. 

There are hints of this in Galatians 2:1-10. Paul mentions five people in his support circle as he recalls the Jerusalem Council of Acts 15. This group was diverse in culture, background, and age, but especially in personality. We know something about their different temperaments from Scripture. Barnabas (the encourager), Titus (the faithful administrator), James (the instructor), John (the cautious), and of course, the impulsive and larger than life personality of Peter. Together with Paul (known for being quite direct), this group formed a powerful support circle of six. 

Do you think this band of brothers had any idea of the impact they would have on the world? This passage demonstrates the beauty of how Christ brings unique people together to edify one another and accomplish His work. 

My friend suggested we can find something similar to the following characteristics in our support circle. I’ve taken the liberty of giving each of them a title.

  • The Encourager – Who lifts your spirit, inspires you with courage and confidence? 
  • The Intercessor – Who is always ready to pray, when you ask and even when you don’t?
  • The Counselor – Who is the spiritually mature person who gives wise Biblical counsel and you trust to keep your confidences?
  • The Accountant – Who holds you accountable, tells you the truth, not necessarily what you want to hear, but what you need to hear?
  • The Comic – Who makes you laugh, and reminds you of the importance of joy and merriment in life? 
  • The Comforter – Who will sit with you in silence or offer comforting words? The one you can cry with without inhibition. 

Do you recognize any of these life-giving characters in your support circle? Which one are you? As we sharpen one another, our circle of six can be a powerful witness for Christ to the world. 

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

Shirley Ralston

This devotional was originally published at Thrive Ministries.

About texpatfaith

I'm a returned Christian expat living in Texas after several years residing in the Middle East and the South Pacific. I have the great privilege of writing about my experiences through the eyes of my faith, and to know and love my brothers and sisters serving in Christ's name all over the world. I have a special heart for the missionary community whom I now serve through the Missionary Care Team at my church. I am a writer, researcher, teacher, and archaeology enthusiast who also loves peering into the heavens any chance I get - but most importantly I am a wife, mother and grandmother who loves the Lord. "The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I am a Christian makes me a different kind of woman." Elisabeth Elliott Shirley Ralston (MA Christian Education, Dallas Theological Seminary)
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1 Response to Your Support Circle of Six

  1. Sherri Moore says:

    Thank you Shirley

    Sherri Moore214-717-8013 Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

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