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The Trouble With Cliques


  1. a small group of people, with shared interests or other features in common, who spend time together and do not readily allow others to join them.

Ever had that moment when someone says something to you and it arrests you, for like days?  You turn the phrasing over and over in your mind.  What did they mean?  Why did they say that?  When did I communicate that behavior?  How did they determine the conclusions they drew?  I had that moment a few months ago, when someone told me that I was part of, *gasp and swoon,* a clique.

I have to say, I was insulted.  Most of my “ride or dies” are all over the country (at one some points, all over the world).  It is extremely rare that all of my girls are in one place at the same time.  So, I was curious as to how the word was even associated with me, because actually, I’m a loner.  When people want to throw shade my way, they are quick to point out that I’m guarded, or closed, or standoffish, or even unapproachable.  I’m not sure why this doesn’t insult me as much as the word clique.  Still, I had to figure out why it niggled at me.

One conclusion I came to was that clique has always had a negative connotation.  Look at the last part of the definition above.  Cliques “do not readily allow others to join them.”

But what’s wrong with that?  Aren’t you supposed to be selective about your “inner circle?”

The answer is, yes, select away. What would Jesus do?  He would pick his clique.  You had better pick yours.

The fabulous femme fatales of Pitch Perfect! A really funny movie. Photo Credit:

Here’s the thing, the folks in your life pass through for different reasons.  I can’t give you the reasons, because I don’t know what they are.  Generally speaking though, they are there to teach you something or to learn something from you.  Then, there are those God gives you because you’re going to need them from beginning to end.  They know you.  They counsel you.  They advise you.  They make you laugh.  They don’t sugar coat stuff.  They call you out on your foolery.  You can’t just let anyone do that.  They have to be called by God to be a part of your life.  If God didn’t call them, when they come running, send them back to the porch.

Still, we have to admit, cliques have received bad press.  I’ve even heard preachers spew the word out of their mouths across the pulpit with disgust and disdain.  They mention church cliques and how they can destroy unity.  I believe, however, certain groups of people are better suited to work together than others.  That group works together just as another group work together.  If every group stays in their own lane, a lot will get done.

Think about it this way, Jesus helped thousands of people come into the knowledge of who He was, but let’s be clear, he didn’t hang out with all those folks!  There were 12 he strolled around with, and only three to whom He revealed deeper mysteries.  Those men were called for the cause Jesus was purposed for on this earth.  You are no different.

Now back to the comment at hand, the fact that someone told me I had a clique.  After much pondering, I figured out what the problem was with cliques. Absolutely nothing.  If your group is causing no harm or malice; if they are not marginalizing others because of an air of elitism; if they are called to be a part of your life, be with your clique, because God chose them for you, just like he did for HIS own son.

Your friends are there to give you balance, to share in your struggles and success, to listen and advise.  Your friends are your friends, because God gave them to you, so if you want to sit by them in church, do so without guilt.  If you want go out to dinner with them, just the six of you, by all means, go–don’t worry about who you’ll see in the next both at Fridays and what they will say.  You are with friends.  You can’t be everybody’s friend.  It doesn’t work that way.  You can be nice, cordial, interested, generally concerned, caring, and helpful and encouraging for a whole lot of folks, but your girls are your girls for a reason, and they guard your heart from the posers.  Enjoy your clique.  It’s not a problem




Published inHer Light

One Comment

  1. Demetria Bowers-Adair Demetria Bowers-Adair

    I love the comparison you make with Jesus and his clique! I also think that cliques or your inner circle are ordained by God. We’re not perfect, we will disagree, fuss, cuss, give wanted and unwanted advice, cry with and for each other and still remain friends. Now who other than God can sustain such a relationship? I am by nature a people person and have many “human” relationships and beleive there are levels of relationships. But that clique, those ride or die, those brutally honest, those coat tail pullers, those sounding boards friends, oh yeah that’s my clique and I “ain’t ” shame! Good article.

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