Who have you been hanging out with lately? That is a really important question to ask ourselves on a regular basis. Entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker Jim Rohn astutely observed that, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” The Sage of Proverbs affirms this principle when he writes, “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm” (Proverbs 13:20). The Apostle Paul adds his endorsement, in 1 Corinthians 15:33, when he says, “Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.”
The principle we are talking about here is simply one of current. We all understand that the current of a river carries an object in a very specific direction. The same is true of those who are influencing our life.
So who are the five people who are forming your future? And the follow up question to that is this: Is that the trajectory that you want your life to be on?
More specifically, we need to ask questions about those who are closest to us like these: “Do these individuals share my values? Do they have the same moral standards as I do? Do they encourage me to be my best? Are they achieving the results in their life that I would like to achieve?”
These are all very important questions because, we are influenced by the people we regularly associate with. To be successful in this life we have to be proactive. Jesus set forth this principle in Matthew 7:13-14 when he compared two different ways to live our life. He said there is the popular way to go, which is pretty much effortless, you just go with the flow. Or, there is the more strenuous way that is open to everyone but only a few will take advantage of it because it requires effort and focus. Although he was specifically talking about a spiritual truth here, the principle applies to all of life. There is an easy way that leads, at best, to mediocrity, or there is a more determined way that leads to fulfilling the purpose God has for you. If we are going to achieve that purpose we will need all the help we can get from those around us and so we must choose those who influence us wisely.