You’re joking, right Larry? The title on this post seems a little over the top.
Yes, I meant the title to be a bit of shocker, but I’m really only half-joking around about it. Check out the following quote:
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn
While there have been no scientific studies done to substantiate this quote (to my knowledge), I don’t think there can be much dispute on the influence of others on our life. We become like the people with whom we hang out and do life with.
If we spend a lot of time with rebellious, worldly, marginal “Christians” (I’m using this label, loosely), then there’s a good chance we’re going to end up worldly and rebellious.
If we hang out with people who are challenged with a poor work ethic and a poverty mindset, then we’re probably going to adopt that same attitude with our work and finances.
If we spend time with selfish, me-centered people, then there’s a great possibility we’re going to become toxic people and self-centered in our personalities.
If we hang out with people who have a deep walk with the Lord and are engaged in a passionate pursuit of the Kingdom of God, then there’s a great possibility that we will become mature in our own walk with the Lord.
If we spend time with hard workers, abundance thinkers, and people who are rocking their career niche, then we’re probably going to start growing in our own area of expertise.
If we spend time with people who live debt free lives with attitudes of contentment and generosity, then there’s a great chance we’re going to pursue this type of financial mindset and lifestyle as well.
What Scripture Tells Us About Friendship
God’s Word is clear that the people we hang around with do have an influence on our lives, for good and for bad. Check out these verses from Scripture about the importance of our personal relationships:
- Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm (Proverbs 13:20).
- Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare (Proverbs 22:24-25).
- Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals” (1 Corinthians 15:33).
- Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety (Proverbs 11:14).
- Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future (Proverbs 19:20).
- Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another (Proverbs 27:17).
Our Friends Will Make Us Or Break Us
The people we hang around with will truly make us or break us. Our friends have the power, the ability to build us up or to tear us down. They can encourage us or discourage us to make great life choices or bad ones. They can give us wise, Biblical advice on how to manage God’s money, or they can advise us to live wealthy lifestyles with no consideration for God’s Kingdom work.
Does this mean we dump all of our current friends in favor of “better” friends?
Maybe. Maybe not.
I would simply do a friend audit. If you have a group of friends that impact you negatively, then yeah, it’s time to drop them in favor of more positive influences in your life. On the other hand, if your friends have perhaps a mostly neutral influence in your life, then you can hold on to them. Over time, though, seek out Godly, positive, wise, hard-working friends who can help you move up to that next level in your life.
Questions: Have you done a friend audit, lately? If you did one, what kind of grades would your current group of friends receive? Passing, failing, or excellent? Is it time for you to get out there and find some more positive, influential friends?