I know that we tend to dream about a lot of different things as we enter a brand new year. And though we are nearing the end of January, I do not want to let this month go without raising a very critical consideration for us all. Namely, the company we keep.
Your success is influenced by the people you choose to have in your circle. There is some truth to the old age words of wisdom: Birds of a feather, flock together.
I remember being warned about certain peers while growing up and I did not always understand why my parents felt that a warning or an all out prohibition was necessary, but looking back, I am grateful. I have learned so much throughout my life - and continue to learn - about how important it is to be intentional about the company that you keep. It is true that everyone is NOT on your side and everyone does NOT have your best interest in mind. This might be hard to read but everyone does not genuinely care about your overall well-being and whether or not your dreams come true. It might hurt to acknowledge this reality but it will be an invaluable gift if you discern this as quickly as possible; or, at least, make the shift you need to make as soon as you can when someone with whom you have been in relationship true colors reveal that their connection is not to your advantage.
Actually, Psalm 1 is a good place to start to think about the people you are in step with, those you are standing with, and those with whom you feel comfortable enough to sit. Let me interject that I know that we ALL will be in communication with people who may never be our best friends for the sake of a project or event or advice on a particular subject matter. I get that. I am more so asking all of us to reflect on those inner circle kinds of relationships, your ride or die friends, your besties, your favorites in your phone [Oops! As soon as I typed that "favorites in your phone" I immediately thought of a few folks that need to be taken out of that category in my own phone..my...my...my.. seasons change but I digress...] So, let's jump to Psalm 1 and as you read these few verses, think about the company you keep...
Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
And there we have it! I know it might sound extreme only because who actually wants to identify the people you have walked with as wicked or the people who have stood with you as sinners or your company as mockers. These are not the terms of endearment that we want to use; especially since on some level, if we are honest, our comfort level of hanging out with them in some way is a reflection upon who we are. And I totally do not want to go down the road of calling anyone evil, sinful, or mocking. Psalm 1 handled that so I will move on.
Nevertheless, this entire blog is all about being mindful and intentional about the company you keep. It is about being honest about who you call your "close" friends and the mutual value that you add to each other's lives. For at the end of the day, I hope that those who are closest to you delight in the Lord, meditate on the Lord, that they are planted and fruitful, and that they have a desire to see you prosper.
So, check in! Check in with yourself first and ask yourself who are you in step with and who are you standing with and with whom are you seated? Be honest in your evaluation of those relationships. Pause. Pray. Then, as necessary, have whatever conversations you need to have to enhance or to dismiss. You might find it to be hard. You might find that you have felt the need to shift for a long time. Either way, a periodical check in is in order.
And one final note... in your checking in, do not forget to look in the mirror to make sure that YOU are not the one who is a hindrance to the prosperity of those with whom you step, stand, or sit...
God Loves You and I Do Too!
Blessings, Glory, and Sunshine!