It should go without saying that one of the most important parts of a full, satisfying life is our relationships with safe people. Whether it’s with our spouse, friends, or family, these relationships give us a sense of well-being and purpose. And in many ways, they can lead to a longer, healthier life mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally.


So a question you need to ask for the New Year:  How many of my current relationships are with safe people who build me up?


“Safe relationships draw us closer to God, others, and help us
become the real person God created us to be.”


We could all use more safe people in our life!


How would you define what safe people look, sound, and act like? Furthermore, how do we evaluate who is good for us and who is not? One way is through character discernment. This is a critical skill we should all try to implement into our lives, especially when discerning which relationships in our lives involve safe people.




Dr’s Henry Cloud and John Townsend have outlined many ways for us to understand who safe people are in their book Safe People: How to Find Relationships that are Good for You and Avoid Those that Aren’t.

Character discernment means evaluating who is good for us and who is not! Who builds us up and is encouraging, and who doesn’t. That’s a simple way to look at it.

By doing this, we can recognize those who …

    • Accept you as you are
    • Love you unconditionally
    • Let you be yourself
    • Help you to grow as a person and Christ-follower
    • Touch your life and leave you better for it
    • Help you to deny yourself


Conversely, unsafe people give us the feeling that we are being controlled. Instead of making God more important in our lives, we feel self-conscious and even dive a bit too deep into caring about other people’s opinions. Ask yourself:


What do I need? We tend to be controlled by the things we need.

What or who controls me? Generally, what or who you need will control you.

Where do I place my trust? Sometimes, what we need controls us, and what controls us is the object of our trust or fear.

Unsafe people feed off of these unhealthy needs …

  • Reputation
  • Peer pressure
  • People pleasing
  • Co-dependency
  • Fear of man
  • “Must” have our needs met by …


‘Safe people are ones who draw us closer to being the people God intended
us to be; not perfect but their character is a positive presence in our lives. They are honest,
present and help us bear good fruit in our lives.’


We could easily blame unsafe people for making our lives difficult. In reality, though, the issues that make our life the most difficult have to do with what we choose to trust in. Therefore, the problem is within us — not outside of us.



1 Sam 16:7 The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man
looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”


All we are saying here is that we are generally more conscious of our fear of others than our fear of God. We are afraid of being rejected or being hurt physically, mentally, and emotionally. So, we surround ourselves with unsafe people, putting way too much weight on their opinions to help us feel better about ourselves.


But I ask you: what about God’s opinion?

God’s opinion is what really matters. We can look to other people, or we can look to Christ. Choose Christ!


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Did we leave anything out? How are you trying to build more relationships with safe people? How do you recognize those who may not be the safest people to have around this holiday season? Please send us a quick email and help us keep this conversation going at