For example, what we do on the weekends is often the result of friendship influences, not deep values. Our views on sexuality, politics, and even theology are sometimes shaped more by our circle than by a transcendent authority. If you’re Christian, you may consume immoral media or refuse to sacrifice your time and money for others because, well, your circle of Christian friends has settled for this. Comfort is the norm.
Is our morality, our commitment, our service, our very identity shaped more by our circle of friends than by the kingdom of Christ? We say we follow Jesus, but often hide behind our friends. It’s hard to break free from the circle of friends. There’s a lot of social pressure. And if we don’t have a bigger story to shape our lives, a more universal narrative to reorder our world, then why not go with the ones we trust and admire? Why not fall in line with their mediocre spirituality, their comfortable ethic, and their tolerant morality? So we dig in locally, disbelieving universal stories, and create our own narrow-minded versions of reality. We base our discipleship on our friends’ discipleship, our holiness on others’ holiness, our missional boldness on others’ boldness. The circle of friends isn’t as innocent as it seems.