You are who you hang around with

I was taught this principal many years ago in my makeup business and it has stuck with me throughout the years.  It is such a true statement. As I look back during the seasons of my life, and the people that I let into my circle of influence on each part of the journey, I can see this truth in action.

For many years, my life was filled with chaos and drama and coming to recognize that I chose to be around people who suffered with the same was a game changer for me.

It was a difficult pill to swallow, and being a people pleaser, a very hard situation to change. Many times it wasn’t by choice that people were removed from my life. God was going to have His way and if I didn’t remove the people that were not good for me He did. 

Today I strive to be very aware of who I surround myself with on a soul level. While I communicate with many, have friendships with several, I have to recognize that in order to get to where God wants me to go, I have to be persistent in making sure that I surround myself not only with good people, but to find those who are in a place where I want to be. Just like Timothy in the Bible, I need a Paul, or several Paul’s in my life.  If I want to be a strong, loving, faith filled, God seeking person who walks out my faith with audacity then it is imperative that I have those same types of people in my life, influencing me with their words and actions.

I think it is important to mention that we are surrounded by hurting people and everyone is walking their own journey. There was a time when I looked around at the people that I knew and there wasn’t anyone in a place that I wanted to be. They were all struggling just like me. Today, by the Grace of God that is not the case, but finding time in this busy world, to spend time with them, it’s not always easy. Even so, I am determined to put myself into as close of proximity as I can to people who are ALL IN for God.  When I look at my top list of people that today, speak into my life, I can’t help but feel a little silly as many of them are ones I have never met. But it works.  In hopes of this making sense, I’ll list out those that I am purposeful to spend time with on a daily or weekly basis.

First and foremost, is God. I hang out with him daily. Without this relationship, none of the others would matter. Jason Cullum, my Pastor, He is such a strong man of faith and walks his talk.  I have the pleasure of being with him at least twice a week and sometimes more often if I choose to listen to an online sermon. Pastor Jacobi Martin, whose realness and transparency blows me away. I’ve never met him but meet with him weekly as I listen to his sermon on podcast. Joyce Meyer, Beth Moore and Erwin McManus (who I’ve met once) have been pivotal in my walk with The Lord, their obedience to the Lord is what I long for so I listen to them daily through podcast.

The above mentioned people are speaking and acting upon their faith in a way that my heart cries out to do.

While I am extremely blessed with deeply committed friends who follow the Lord in much the same way,  and I get encouraged by them through text, phone call or a luncheon when we get the chance, I am adamant that just like going to church, I don’t want it to be a one time a week thing, and since my beloved friends are not available on a daily basis, then I recognize it is my responsibility to let God lead me to ways of getting what He wants me to have through His Word, My church and podcasts of others who are walking out their faith in the way that I want to walk out mine.

By choosing to hang around with all of these people on purpose, it fills my day with God’s word and fills me up to overflowing.  I pray that it spills out onto others and that they are encouraged to find a Paul, or several and watch how God will use them to change their life.

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