The following is an excerpt from Daily Thoughts for Disciples by Oswald Chambers:
Oswald is brilliant at giving us much to consider and ponder over in a single paragraph. The point he makes in the last section (as noted in bold) is one that seems so painfully obvious we are apt to forget how profound it is.
Most of us have heard the old saying, “you are who you surround yourself with” or ”you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Hearing is one thing but heeding to what we hear is an entirely different one.
When is the last time you took inventory of the five people you spend most of your time with? What is the result of spending time with those people? Do you recognize the influence they have in your life?
It may not seem obvious at first, but dig deeper...
What kind of thoughts do you have as a result of spending time with them?
What kind of things do you talk about when you’re together (and when you’re not)?
What kind of ideas or feelings, good and bad, do they impart on you?
Do they push you towards Jesus?
Do they edify you in your walk with Him?
Their influence may seem subtle, but as you spend more time with them over time, you will inevitably become more like them.
As you consider who those five people are, you might want to ask a follow-up question: “Who do I really want to be like? If I could be like anyone, who would that be?”
As brothers and sisters of Christ, would we not want to be more like Jesus? As His beloved children, wouldn’t being “imitators of God” be one of our ultimate aims?
If the answer is a resounding “YES!” but we find ourselves lacking, then would it not make sense to simply spend more time with Him?
Again, this seems so painfully obvious - of course spending more time with Jesus would make us more like him. Yet, even in my own life I see easy it is to forget this plain truth.
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It’s not to say that a parenting book or leadership podcast is bad; it’s simply that more time with Jesus is better. Even when we choose to spend our time on seemingly good things instead of spending more time with Him, we do ourselves a disservice.
Oswald said, “It is natural to be like the one we live with most.” So what will it look like as we live with and spend more time with Christ?
Here are just a few of Jesus’ qualities:
Jesus is the ultimate leader (John 13:12-17) and the humblest servant (Philippians 2:7). He is wisdom itself (1 Corinthians 1:30) and is full of compassion (Matthew 9:36). He is the ultimate example of self-control (Matthew 4:1-11) and displayed perfect patience (1 Timothy 1:16).
Feeling sad? In His presence there is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11).
Tempted? He understands our weaknesses because he faced all the same testings (Hebrew 4:15-16).
Anxious? He will give you peace the surpasses understanding (Philippians 4:6-7).
Today my prayer for you is simple, friend. May your pursuit of Christ increase today. May you turn to Him before you turn to anything else. May you grow in the knowledge of the One “who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession…”
Which of those scripture references stood out to you the most? What is one quality or characteristic of Jesus you want to be more intentional about growing in? Would love to hear your thoughts - leave us a comment below!