The Allure of the Inner Circle

M and I visited a new church this weekend as we continue our quest to find a church family. The sermon centered on passages from Ephesians, and his analysis of Eph. 1:4-14 stirred me up, particularly when he made the point that we, in Christ, are part of the ultimate inner circle. He contrasted this to the Earthly inner circles we seek and how much stock we often put into belonging (or not belonging).

I felt so convicted by this as I stuggle a lot with trying to fit in and caring about the impression I give off to others. And I'm not talking about hoping others will notice my attitude and love and recognize it for His praise. (Though that is a real hope of mine.) Rather, I concern myself with superficial stuff: what people think about how I dress, what I eat, how well manicured I am, etc. The ironic part is that I tend to most admire (and develop little girl crushes on) gals who have their very own style and swagger. My closest friends are very unique in their personal style and how they live their lives, and I think they're the bee's knees! Yet I have this goofy tendency to adopt whatever I like about someone else's style, exactly as I see it.

I'm reminded of a fitting quote, which Debby over at Inspired Design posted the other day:

"Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else. " ~ Judy Garland

Pastor Ted mentioned gossip as one of the ways we try to access the inner circles we seek. We desire to be "in the know," or we want to bring the goods when it comes to a juicy tidbit about someone else. Why do we do this? I frustrate myself, I tell ya! I am particularly bad about jumping on the bandwagon when it comes to hearing a grievance about/toward another. Rather than weigh my words, offer unbiased support, or even venture to present a gracious, alternative way to look at the situation, I get all up in arms. And about something I know nothing about, save for the one-sided story that has been shared with me! I fiercly love my friends and family, but that doesn't have to mean they are always right and that I should assume such.

I'm always thankful for reminders to check myself before I wreck myself, particularly when they come from a place of love and grace.


  1. Hey Natalie! I use to feel the same way. When I first joined Facebook, I wanted to "fit in" with all of these certain girls and guys. They accepted me, but once I got to know them I didn't like what I "saw". They were beautiful but had horrible attitudes to the point of MEAN. That's not my inner spirit at all. I cut them all loose. Stayed true to who I was, and then people came to me with those same qualities. Sometimes we want, which is not suppose to be. BE YOU! And you will attract others who appreciate YOU for who YOU are. Hope this helps. Have a great Monday! ((HUG))

  2. You're so right! Getting caught up in superficial stuff makes it really easy to miss what is going on the people's hearts we seek, for better or worse. Have a great week, Kim!! Always a joy reading your comments. :)

  3. Guuuuurl...so much to say. You definitely hit the nail right on the head with this one. I COMPLETELY struggle with "fitting in" (always have) and usually get caught up in "ooo, they have that, and I want it too, but bigger and better". I annoy myself. I just keep praying about it everyday, and the Lord pretty much always steers my thoughts in a completely different direction if I start thinking ugly. But man, it's a struggle, and a nasty battle. Poopy. Love you lady!! :o)

  4. But it sounds like you are on the right track by recognizing the yucky thoughts and turning to God about it. I, too, find myself doing that on a regular basis. I have faith that as my heart continues to be shaped by Him, I won't have to ask for help as often. ;) Love you!!

  5. Wow so convicting! Thanks for sharing what the Lord is teaching you. I could use this reminder on a daily actually hourly basis. Our loving Father wants us to see ourselves through his eyes so we give him glory. I pretty much fail at this daily. Instead of focusing on him and trying to please him so that he forms and molds me into what he wants me to be, I mold and shape my life on my own based on like you said what I like about other people (which is all superficial)  just so i get approval and praise from people that don't even know the real me. And the pride and gossip, well that's a whole other Oprah show. What a mess we all are without Christ! Keep inspiring us! 

  6. Exactly! Gosh, I'm so thankful for readers who not only encourage me, but also help me along the way as I learn and grow. I know that process will never cease, and that'ssuch a blessing! Thank you very much for your comment and support. :)