Recently, I was fortunate to come into contact with a message that I had never heard from a preacher whom I recognized but never took the time to listen to. A wildly popular Instagram mogul mentioned the message, categories of friends, and for some reason, my ears perked up. Stormy Wellington only mentioned it briefly, but what she said led me to search out the content. T.D. Jakes tells us that there are three categories of friends: comrades, constituents, and confidants. We will spend our divine lives surrounded by constituents and comrades but will be blessed with but a few confidants.
Jakes says that comrades are those people who only have one big thing in common. Maybe these people go to school or work together, but were it not for that one thing, these people would have nothing to discuss. The next group of people is the constituents, who are for what you are for, as long as the two of you are for the same thing. A constituent may be consistent this week and flaky the next if your (or their) interests change. This type of person will absolutely jump your ship to board the ship of someone who seems to offer something more promising. The last type of person, the confidants, are the precious few who share your joys and sorrows, who will correct you when you’re wrong, and who knows your innermost secrets but still don’t judge you.
Comrades and constituents are the most common groups of people in life. Bosses, I didn’t quite understand the idea of categories of friends and it has caused me stress on more than one occasion. It has been a challenge to understand why I put so much of myself into my relationships to receive so little.
As a young girl, I can remember struggling to make friends and feel accepted by my peers. I made friends often through opportunity, which makes sense because I generally didn’t go anywhere unless I was with my parents or one of my sisters.
Years have passed now and unsurprisingly, those friendships made out of convenience faded away. Our lives have changed. These constituents stuck around while we were into the same things. We went to the same school and our relationship worked because of that common thread, but once that thread dissolved, it would’ve been purposeless to continue pursuing those people as friends.
I felt alone when my infant son was diagnosed with a rare digestive disease. During one of his hospital stays, I met two other moms whose sons had digestive illnesses and we stayed in touch for a few months. Again, these relationships fizzled off; my son’s health blossomed after his first birthday and I stayed in touch with those moms for a short period of time because of our commonality. I appreciate the allies I gained, but it’s easy to see now that those women were comrades. We were against digestive illness together, but outside of that, we were unlikely to be friends because we were unlikely to have ever met otherwise.
I’ve been blessed with a few confidants so far; I married one and the other one is a woman whom I’ve been in and out of touch with. I’ve shared sorrows and joys with these two people. I know that when I need anything, even if it’s a reality check, I can rely on these two and I’m thankful for them.
There’s no avoiding the various categories of friends. Each person needs a variety of each type to progress through life but being aware of the difference between comrade, constituent, and confidant can spare you some heartache. Learn why people are in your life and allow them to serve their purpose. When the purpose is served, let go. Consider Abram and Lot in the book of Genesis: Lot went with Abram wherever he went, but when their shepherds had a disagreement, Lot and Abram separated. Lot headed toward the valley of Jordan, to the land that looked most pleasing to his eyes. Once Lot was gone, the Lord showed out! He told Abram that all the land in every direction was his and that his descendants would be innumerable. Abram was blessed immensely when he dropped the dead weight that was Lot.
Are you still holding on to a friendship that is no longer serving you? Do you feel like you’re giving more to people than you’re receiving?
Stay encouraged, Boss Woman. Pray for discernment so you can separate what’s real from what’s a flake.
Jeannelle “Jean” Lundy