“Oh, they’re the glue!” They say with a smile. Inside, I beam with pride as they continue to lather their words of affection. “They keep all of us together. They plan our hangouts! Without them, we all wouldn’t be friends.”
Do you have a glue in your friend group?
The Glue is the friend that plans the social activities. They’re the friend that makes sure the group doesn’t fall apart. They check up on people, they plan get-togethers and hangouts. For a long time, I was a Glue Friend. I was in almost every social circle (even the ones that didn’t talk to each other), and I prided myself on planning the best parties, the coolest game-days, and the most rejuvenating Girls Nights.
And I loved it.
I got all the juicy secrets. The hot gossip. I had a special relationship with almost everyone because I listened and had wise advice. I was the therapist of the group. If you had an issue, Alli was always there to be a listening ear. I was needed and wanted.
Again. I loved it.
There’s a certain amount of pride that comes from being needed and wanted. I didn’t want to lose it. Who would? So, I pressed into the identity of being ‘the glue’. I took on responsibility that wasn’t mine, and I rarely shared what I was actually going through. What was important to me. After all, why would I?
I got all the juicy secrets. The hot gossip. I heard how people talked about the others in the friend group. How they talked about the friends that made mistakes. I heard if someone thought a new couple was having sex outside of marriage or if someone thought someone else was annoying, bossy, prideful, or bitchy.
I didn’t want people to talk about me that way.
It made me bitter and resentful. Every three months, I’d get so frustrated that I’d go radio-silent, lock myself in my room for a week, and refuse to talk to anyone. Then, I’d emerge with a newfound patience, ready to be who I thought I needed to be.
I knew there was a problem, I just didn’t know what was wrong. I didn’t know how to fix it.
That’s where God comes in.
I was sitting in church, listening to the sermon, when my pastor went down a rabbit trail. He started talking about The Early Church, and he said something that, quite literally, changed my entire life perspective.
“Holy Spirit was the glue that kept the church of acts together.”
My mouth almost dropped as all the dominos fell into place.
I had taken the Holy Spirit’s spot in my friend group. Whether it had originally been my choice to be in that spot or not didn’t matter. It didn’t matter if my friends had placed that pressure on me, or I had taken it on myself didn’t matter. The facts were suddenly plane as day. I put that pressure on myself.
I was the one trying to stir my friends hearts to seek each other out and gather together. Because I was putting on the pressure, I took the Holy Spirits spot.
He is the reason we love each other. He is the reason we do nice things for each other. Why we gather together and are patience and kind and loving to one another. My perspective was completely off. I did nice things because I thought I had to. Not because Holy Spirit had stirred me to.
Let me tell you, I did a really sucky job of being the glue, but there are two things I’ve learned upon reflection and hopefully, they can help you too.
1. The Pressure
There is so much pressure put on the Glue friend. To keep everyone together, to make sure we hang out. When you put that pressure on one person, it gives you permission to kick back and not pour into your friendships. To not be the church. I know I wasn’t the only Glue friend in my friend group.
We’re called to be the Body of Christ. This doesn’t just apply to the glue friend. This could apply to anyone you put pressure on in your circle to be more than what they’re called to be.
2. The Pride
The glue is in great danger of falling into pride. It’s nice to be The Glue, to be needed and wanted. If you’re not careful, you’ll begin to take pride in being the one everyone goes to. It becomes more about what you can do then who God made you to be.
We live in a fallen and broken world. Every friend group is going to struggle with something. Not one friend is going to be the perfect friend.
Newsflash: you aren’t going to be the perfect friend either. Take that pressure off yourself. I know I needed to.
The only thing you can do, is press into God and have him direct you in the way He wants you to go. To be who He wants you to be.
Don’t take on all the responsibility. We all have a job to do when it comes to loving each other.
Hey, you know what’s cool? Learning about joy! Check out my joy-votional!