Skip to main content

The right influence makes all the difference

There is much to the belief which holds to the idea of surrounding yourself with the right people bringing you success in life.  When we choose our "circle" well, we find ourselves being influenced to move in directions which increase our "value" in some way.  Choose the wrong "circle" and we might not realize quite the same increase in "value".  Now, lest you think I believe your acquaintances actually are where you find your unique value in life, this is not what I am saying.  In fact, there is but one place we find our unique value and that is when we look fully into the face of Jesus.  It is in what we see reflected back as we fully explore the depth of his gaze that we find our supreme and unique value. Yet, our relations here on earth can either build us up, or tear us down. Those which build us up have a way of adding "value" by our association; those which tear us down actually take away "value" by our association.  The latter erode away at our confidence, play upon our insecurities, and reinforce our fears. It is much better to surround ourselves with those who don't resist correction in their own lives - showing by example what it is like to embrace even the hard lessons so that steps can be reordered to ensure a right path is followed.  It is also important to surround ourselves with those who think about others as revealed in their willingness to lay down their own desires for the benefit of another. This is what I mean about our relations "lending value" to our lives - the right ones make all the difference in ways which encourage our growth rather than tearing us down or apart!

All who refuse correction will be poor and disgraced; all who accept correction will be praised. It’s a good feeling to get what you want, but only a stupid fool hates to turn from evil. Wise friends make you wise, but you hurt yourself by going around with fools. (Proverbs 13:18-20 CEV)

There are certainly times when we all refuse correction - leading us to places in life where we feel like grace is far from us.  We see walls closing in around us because of choices we have made and it almost frightens us to no end.  We feel "disgraced" - like we have lost a place of honor and now must deal with our shame over the matter.  Choices in relationship make all the difference with not only putting us in those compromising situations, but in helping us bounce back if we have compromised!  I know my best friend speaks life into my steps, not death.  She might not mince her words at times, but I need her to be this forthright with me because when she is, I can see where it is I am out of step with what God wants in my life.  Disgrace is actually a "place" in our emotional make-up where we feel like we have lost favor.  Good relationships help us to never lose sight of the fact we never lose favor in God's eyes - we can always find new grace in his presence.  Refusing correction assures us we will "lose" something - because honor is impacted when we are refusing grace.  We stand in a place of "honor" because of what grace has done in our lives.  Without the grace of God extended into and over our lives, we'd stand in a place of dishonor. With it, we are exalted beyond our wildest imaginings!

Having the wrong relationships can lead us into places of seeking what is natural for us to seek - everything which meets our fancies, builds up our selfish desires, and leads to us being the ones fulfilled in the moment.  Having the right relationships can keep us from being so self-centered!  We may "want" a lot of things in life, but the one thing we need to guard against standing in a place of "want" for is solid relationships.  We don't want to find ourselves walking this pathway alone, or worse yet, with the wrong traveling companions!  What God wants to us is for us to surround ourselves with others who know the grace of God in their own lives and lean into that grace each and every day.  Those who thumb their noses at God's grace are dangerous companions to place in your circle.  Two things we all need in this life:  God's grace and good companions who also understand his grace.  Two things which will leave us wanting in this life:  Being so full of our own self-worth we don't see the need for finding our value in Jesus and being so unwise in our choices as to think things, position, or power give us "worth" in life.  

Wise friends make us wise.  The first relationship we all need to "get right" is the one we have with Jesus.  When this is the primary focus in life, we soon find the other relationships we have begin to matter in ways we might not have seen before.  We will also recognize those which don't and will gradually see those drifting outside of our circle - not because they aren't good people, but because they draw us away from grace and toward foolishness.  Foolish people will drive us toward foolish action.  If we want to make better decisions in life, it often begins with changing those we have in our circle of influence.  Why?  We are influenced by their actions and they by ours.  We need the right influences if we are to even come remotely close to making less "foolish" decisions in life.  Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

Gateway closed, ears open, heart ready

We can certainly hear a lot of voices today - each representing some "cause" or "purpose" we are supposed to get our lives behind. Some are reasonable and seem to catch our attention simply because what they present seems both logical and straight-forward. Other voices are not as forth-coming in their motives, oftentimes not very logical and definitely not telling you the whole story. They simply use a technique that manipulates the crowds until they have them to the place we might call "biting on the bait". Our mailboxes are inundated with this request for "charitable contribution" one right after another; get this product now; attend this seminar to get rich quick; and get these veneers put on your teeth to change the way people perceive you. Lots of voices demanding our attention, but do we recognize its source? Jesus was most concerned with the repetitive 'voices' and 'demands' our world puts out there over and over again - vo