If you are a parent there is a good chance you express concern and interest when it comes to who your kid’s friends are. Why is that? It is because you and I both know that who our children hangout with impacts their future. Here is a question for you. Are you as concerned with who you spend time with as you are who your children spend time with?
I sincerely hope the answer is “YES” because it makes a big difference. In fact who we associate and spend time with is one the biggest determining factors in who we become.
We are who we hangout with
In my post WHAT DO YOU WANT I mentioned a few things on my “Want List” were to be humble, gentle, and have a happy marriage. When I started evaluating the “friends” I was spending the most time with I realized that none of them possessed those qualities I desired. This realization caused me to begin a process of changing who I spent time with. I outlined this process in SPEAK LIFE PART 2.
Step one is to remove negative influences. I began to apply discernment in all of my current relationships. I evaluated the “fruit on the tree” in the lives of my friends and acquaintances. If they did not have the type of relationship with their wife or girlfriend like I wanted with Beth then I was guarded with my time. I also had to look at how I acted while around them or shortly after being around them. Do you have an old friend or maybe a coworker who causes you to act differently than normal when you are around them? Has your wife ever commented, “You are different when the two of you are together.”? If so that is a problem and should be a major cause for concern. Remember in my post IN THE END I shared the question, “Does this bring me closer to or further from my goals?”
As we begin to remove negative influences and relationships from our lives we must also begin to fill our lives with positive relationships. For me personally I found this to be the harder step. I had great clarity about what I wanted for our future so removing negative people was easy. As I began the process of filling my life full of positive relationships I realized an unfortunate truth. Positive people do not like spending a lot of time with negative people and I was unfortunately a negative person from years of negative relationships in my life.
I yearned for friendships with positive, godly men who loved their families and had fruit on the tree. We joined a new church and a new young adult bible study, began volunteering with different organizations, joined networking groups, kept pouring lots of positivity into our minds with what we were reading and listening to, and most importantly we joined Advocare. Slowly we found that other positive people were attracted to us and we began to build stronger relationships. This was not an easy process, but we understood it was a PROCESS. That understanding enabled us to focus on growing and becoming higher value people. God brought the right people into our lives in His perfect timing and now seven years later we cannot even recognize the people we used to be.
Changing who we spent time with was a long, slow process, but it was totally worth it. As I write this we just got back from a four day vacation to Orange Beach Alabama where we shared life with 100 of our closest friends. These champions sharpen us and challenge us to grow in all areas of our lives. We could never imagine our lives without them. The crazy thing is out of those 100 people who we just traveled with I only knew two of them seven years ago and even then I never really spent time with them before.
Question: Do you want stronger, more fulfilling relationships with more positive people in your life? What is one thing you could do to begin growing new relationships with people who will help you get where you want to be in life? Comment below