Seeking Positive Influencers
Become wise by walking with the wise;
hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces.
PROVERBS 13:20 (THE MESSAGE)
With all the “aha moments” that I have experienced over the past several years – one that has caused me to do a one-eighty in my thinking was learning to reflect and discern the friends who are the positive influencers in my life. See I always thought that the positive influencers in my life – the “wise” – were those who spurned me on in my walk to be more Christ-like – who I believed to be wiser than I because they knew how to “fix” me and would lead me in the right direction.
But I have learned the truth is that no one is capable of fixing me – except for God. It is not my friend’s responsibility to fix me nor is it my responsibility to fix my friends. Thank you God! But it is our responsibility to love one another and be positive influencers in one another lives. This I can do!
There are two very distinctly different kinds of friends formed by two very distinctly different rooms.
It would be great, at this point, to reflect on those who’ve had or are attempting to have influence in your life.
Negative influencers will demand your trust of them, as a condition of their support. But it is a trust for their benefit not yours.
Positive influencers ask permission to earn trust. They will wait for permission to be let in. They put the onus on themselves, not you.
Negative influencers will see you as a sinner who needs help becoming a saint. Their goal will be fixing your issues.
Positive influencers will see you as a saint who still fails. Their goal will be to foster an environment where nothing stays hidden.
Negative influencers will measure your righteousness by how little you sin.
Positive influencers are convinced you are righteous, so they’re interested in how you’re receiving and giving love. They know that striving to sin less will not mean you love more, but that living in love will mean you are sinning less.
In the Room of Good Intentions I make you accountable to me so I can control your behavior. The result is that you end up hiding, resenting and mistrusting me. Unresolved issues remain unresolved.
In the Room of Grace I want to earn your trust so I can love you and be loved by you. The result is that you might want to give me permission to protect you, so you end up hiding nothing in the safety of my commitment. Unresolved issues are brought into the light for healing. THE CURE (JOHN LYNCH, BRUCE MCNICOL, BILL THRALL
I no longer desire to fix my friends or journey with those who want to fix me but I do desire to do life with friends with whom I can trust who I truly am. I desire doing life with a few good friends – those positive influencers – who will love me and will walk alongside me through the good times and the bad.
“Let me give you a new command: Love one another.
In the same way I loved you, you love one another.
This is how everyone will recognize
that you are my disciples—
when they see the love you have for each other.”
JOHN 13:34-35 (THE MESSAGE)
On the Journey with You,