In order to have a clique, you must exclude certain people. And to feel excluded hurts deeply. David experienced it: ‘The one who shared my food, has turned against me’ (Psalm 41:9 NLT). Cliques are often made up of weak people who are afraid to be different, and who think that as long as they’re with others who think and act like they do, they won’t have to change. It’s human nature to crave this kind of consistency, but it can be harmful. By definition, cliques are exclusive, not inclusive. They create friction, a miserable atmosphere for others, and become centres for gossip, rumours, backstabbing, bullying, and many more messy situations. People aren’t thought of as individuals but as being ‘on this person’s side’ or ‘in that person’s corner’. Satan is pleased when we’re part of a clique. He tempts us with the security of the group to prevent us from doing something different and discovering our individual gifts and purposes, and from doing God’s will. Peer pressure can make us do things we never thought we’d do – from lowering our principles to remaining quiet while the group bullies someone. We might even fear group members turning against us if we stand up for what’s right. At worst, cliques can open doors for racism and sexism, age discrimination, and all kinds of biases. They gain their strength from excluding those who are different. If you’re in a clique, break free as quickly as you can! Reject the pressure to conform to groupthink. And if you’re struggling to leave, tell God – He’ll give you the strength to break away and do the right thing.