Are you a ‘go-er’ or a ‘sitter’?

My wife Abbie and I have this theory, that all people can be sorted into two groups; the ‘go-ers’ and the ‘sitters’.

The ‘go-ers’ go. They often find themselves making the first move when it comes to maintaining relationships. They make the effort to keep in touch and see friends regularly. The ‘sitters’ sit. They may be very social people, but their interactions are often instigated by others. Of course there is nothing wrong with either group – they both have their strengths – but it did get me thinking, so a few years back we put this theory to the test. Myself and Abbie, who firmly place ourselves in the ‘go-ers’ category, wanted to see how our lives would change if we simply stopped going. Whether it was replying to a text, an email or taking a short drive to visit a friend. We just stopped.

Now I know what you might be thinking… ‘What terrible, spoilt, Christians they must be to neglect their friends and those around them!’, and I get how it looks! But have you ever had that feeling where you know you are always the one to make the first move? We were wearing ourselves out by constantly giving, and spent more time outside of our house than in. And so we put our theory to the test, and what we found was interesting…

The first few days passed and unsurprisingly everything went quiet. No texts, no emails, no invites – unfortunately this was just what we predicted would happen. And to be totally honest, it made me feel a bit hurt knowing that without us making the first move, some friendships appeared to start fizzling out.

In these first few evenings, over a glass of wine, Abbie and I would discuss how our behaviour and the behaviour of others had changed, and we came to a quick conclusion: we both thrived on the company of others. It was like being surrounded by people was where we found our energy, and without that we both felt a little lost. However, despite this discovery, we chose to carry on with the challenge of not making the first move, and after a week or so, something unexpected happened. God opened doors around us, both metaphorically and literally.

Invites came in from old friends and new. Slowly our evenings began to fill once again, but this time with less of a burden-like feeling, and more with a sense of togetherness and joy. And in some cases, those who we once labelled as a ‘sitter’, began to reach out and began making the first move. Our friendships were strengthened, and we truly felt that we were then spending our time exactly where God wanted us to spend it.

Now, I’m not suggesting that you spend a month ignoring your friends, but instead I challenge you to apply this ‘go-ers’ and ‘sitters’ theory to your own life. Which group would you put yourself in? And think of those close to you… the members of your small group… family… friends. I completely appreciate that we are all complex creatures with varying personalities and characteristics, but take a moment to consider this. Can one group ever work without the other? What would your small group look like if there wasn’t a mixture of both?

In Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 Solomon writes:

‘Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!’

Why not take this week to thank the ‘go-ers’ in your life. Let them know that you appreciate their efforts and energy. Even try and turn the tables and be the one to reach out first. And then find a ‘sitter’ and let them know they are worth the effort and encourage them on whatever journey they are taking.

Now look inwards. Have you been sat still? Or are you burning/burnt out? Do you surround yourself with people who will make the effort to support you and have you found those that need lifting up?

Desmond Tutu once said this: “You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them”.

Family, friend, stranger. Each interaction is a potential gift. So next time you’re phone beeps, or you hear a knock on the door, get excited about who God is using to bless you today.

About Ben Edwards

Ben is worship leader, youth work volunteer and small group member in his local church in Farnborough. He recently joined CWR as a graphic designer. In his free time he enjoys five a side football and DIY.