Who Do You Allow to Shape Your Life?

With all the modern technology that surrounds us it seems everyone has something to say about everything … even you! It seems every decision you make will be reported on Facebook or someone will twitter about it to the world. You take the time to make something and everyone is more than willing to give you a review. Critics and comments are woven into the landscape of our lives. At times it can be a blessing and help me to see the blind spots in my life and work, but most of the time it is just a headache. In fact, many times I have allowed an unknown stranger’s comment or criticism to anger me and keep me up at night. So through the years I have come up with a short list of people who I allow to speak into my life. Maybe this will be helpful to you:

1. People Who Follow Jesus – A non-Christian does not understand my thinking or my point of view. If I know they are not a follower of Christ, anything that person has to say to me is taken very lightly.

2. People With Whom I Have a Long Term Relationship – My parents, my wife and my children can say about anything to me and I take it to heart. I have a few other friends that I listen to because they know my past and my point of view.

3. People Who Have My Best Interests at Heart – There are people in my life who I know want to see me succeed personally and professionally. They are not trying to tear me down with their words, but rather build me up.

4. People I Respect – I listen to certain preachers and professors because of their expertise. Many people do counseling on a regular basis because a counselor is trained in the ways of the mind. Some people through their study have earned the right to speak to me.

5. People With Positive Long Term Life Experience – I love to talk with people who have had a long happy Christian marriage. They give me insights on how to think and live. I am slow to listen to anyone with a few years of marriage or a divorce under their belt. I want to hear the voices of success and what they can teach me.

Who do you allow to speak into your life? Who gets to shape your thinking with their words? Through the years the group I listen to is getting smaller and smaller. I am no longer blown around by every word of criticism and critique. Maybe this will come in handy when aunt Betty has words to say about your job, your children or your life. Enjoy the season and take everything with a grain of salt πŸ™‚

2 thoughts on “Who Do You Allow to Shape Your Life?

  1. Interesting idea for a list, but I’m not sure I agree with #1. There are lots of people who have shaped my life in some way, and I have no idea if they are a follower of Jesus or not, but they may have some expertise or insight that influences me greatly. I also think it’s important for us to have relationships with non-believers in which we allow them in and allow them to play a part in shaping our thinking or else why should they allow us the same time and consideration. I’ve learned a great deal about myself and my faith from non-believers. One of my most beloved teachers in high school was not a follower of Jesus, but he is the reason I wanted to teach. I wanted to inspire kids the way he did and if he had some comment or criticism for me today, I would be all ears. I’ve had good friends who weren’t believers and it forced me to have to come up with explanations for my beliefs, which causes me to re-examine them. I think it’s a good idea to allow our beliefs to be challenged occasionally. So there you have my unsolicited comment/criticism, but know that it’s given with love so please don’t lose any sleep over it πŸ™‚

    • I am glad to hear that you have had very positive experiences with non-believers advice. I am not trying to say they have nothing to offer us, but I do have to ask some serious questions about their insights into my life. I am glad you have a wonderful success story in your interactions. I know the advice I have received has not always been so good and I can tell you several stories of people whose stories have ended in disaster. I am always cautious with anyone’s advice who is not on the same spiritual journey as I am. It can be for me, and has been for some, a big mistake. I am glad that is not your experience.

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