You know when you spend more time with a person and you inadvertently begin to adopt their facial expressions, words and mannerisms?
Living with roommates has made this so clear to me! Almost every day, I find myself saying, “Woah…who’d I get that from?!” And it makes me think…if it’s so easy for those around me to shape how I speak and act, shouldn’t I be sure to surround myself with people whose character and words are worth copying?
I’ve recently been made aware of how amazing my friends truly are, and how many characteristics they have that I can look up to and learn from.
Disclaimer: I want to point out that I’m not advocating for living in a Christian bubble. I love my Christian friends and I value my non-believing friends just as much:) They all teach me about life in some way or another! That said, back to looking up to and learning from our friends.
I have friends who are so kind to other people that I almost envy their ability to befriend (what seems like) every person they come into contact with. I have other friends who are so very wise. I am amazed by their thought processes and how they articulate those thoughts so clearly. And I know it doesn’t just come by chance—I see or hear about the hours they spend devouring book after book (and of course, the most important volume of all time, the Bible). I have friends who look at life through the most genuinely positive lens. Merely spending time in their presence causes me to complain less and give thanks more.
I cannot tell you how humbling yet inspiring it is to be around these people. Just by being around them, they help me to see that (a.) I’ve got a whole lot of room for growth and (b.) I should probably do something about it.
There is so much value in surrounding yourself with people who are “better” than you. But HOLD UP. Who wants to spend time with a bunch of goody-two-shoes who claim to be superior to those around them?
Well…good news:) That’s not at all what I’m trying to say.
When I say these people are “better” than me, I don’t mean that they live with a “holier-than-thou” type of attitude—quite the opposite, actually. What strikes me about these friends of mine is their humility. Sure, that friend may be the most disciplined person I know, but she’d never think to brag about it. I see her strengths not because she boasts of them on the daily, but because our friendship deepens and I learn more of who she truly is.
I realized that simply by having a conversation with many of my friends, I want to be a better person. They don’t make me feel bad about myself; rather, they unknowingly inspire me to make some sort of change in my life.
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17, NIV
We should be striving for Proverbs 27:17 types of friendships, where our friends sharpen us and we sharpen them, all of us being fashioned into better, stronger, godlier versions of ourselves.