Have you ever hung out with someone so often that you pick up some of their mannerisms? Do, all of a sudden, some of the weird phrases they say and facial expressions they make during certain situations begin to come out of your mouth and appear on your face, too? It’s no secret that we are a byproduct of our atmosphere. You may have heard the saying, “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” And I believe that is so true. And convicting. And terrifying if you look around and realize that the 5 people you spend the most time with are the opposite of who you would like to become...
The personalities we surround ourselves with the effect the conversations we partake in, which affects the thoughts that enter our mind, which affects the posture of our heart and the direction of our attention, time and efforts. Who we surround ourselves with is such a vital component of our spiritual, physical, and mental growth. If we surround ourselves with people that speak negatively about others, we are immersing ourselves in a culture that is designed to bring each other down rather than build each other up. God calls us to come alongside one another, to weep when others weep and rejoice while others rejoice. If we do not have people around us that are ready, willing and able to do just that, we have allowed ourselves to slide down the slippery slope of self-destruction and potentially fall short of the calling God has placed on our lives.
One of my mentors took this concept a step further by encouraging me to include three specific type of people in my “inner circle”. She believed that we should surround ourselves with someone that is walking through a similar season of life so we can grow together and encourage one another. In addition, we should invest our time in mentoring someone that is going through something we have already gone through so we can give them guidance, wisdom, and encouragement. This may look like investing in a senior in college when you have been through the turmoil of senior year and know what it’s like to be itching to cross the graduation stage. Finally, she encouraged me to continue to seek out mentors, like herself, that could offer me advice, prayer, and encouragement during seasons that they may have walked through years or decades ago. Our circle should have someone to guide, someone to walk alongside, and someone to reach ahead to when times get tough.
Who we surround ourselves with shapes who we become. It directs our path and molds the posture of our heart. Are your surroundings pointing you to heaven? Are they lighting the path to your Calling and cheering you on when you don’t think you can take another step? Or are they allowing you to sit in the darkness, dragging you back into who you used to be and keep you from looking up at Him? Who you surround yourself with matters. Choose wisely.