Listening to podcasts is a great way to learn while doing something else. Multitasking. We women are good at that. I listen to them while I sit at my machine sewing. There are so many ways to absorb good teaching, and this is one of my favorites. This quote came up in one that I was listening to the other day. It was Erwin McManus, “The person you are becoming is directly related to the people you allow to influence your life.” Wow…that is so true! Who is it that we allow to influence our lives? And when you think of that reality, don’t you think we need to be very picky in this selection?

Look at the people who influence you? Do they bring you up? Do they encourage you and hope for the best in your life? Are they morally strong? These are hard questions. So many of us surround ourselves with people who live lives that don’t challenge us to become better. We like to be with others who make us feel a bit morally superior, and that makes our choices easier to live with. Isn’t that true? Take a minute to think about it! Are the people you have in your life people you want to be like yourself? If you do, then that is great. It means that you can grow and learn and get stronger as the years go by. And it means that you can be the influence that someone else needs in their life.

We live in a village. As they say, it takes a village to grow a child. When we look at our position in this village, are we the wise elder or the town jester? Are we the town drunk or the leader? Take another look around you…who is following your lead? And are you worth following? Are your leadership skills just showmanship, or are they genuine in their “positive” influence? Do you practice what you preach, or do you secretly live a life that you would be ashamed to have exposed?

Be careful. I know I need to be. There are so many people that are worth listening to, let’s listen to the right ones. The same goes for us…there are people listening to us, let’s be that example worth emulating. Surround yourself with people who care about your journey and want the best for you. Encourage the people around you to live their lives to the utmost. We have a perfect example in Jesus. He influenced the people around Him to live a life worth living. He didn’t surround Himself with the politically correct and beautiful. The people around Him were the ones who genuinely wanted change and honesty…and He gave it to them. I hope to do the same. To live a life that brings others closer to God…what else is there?

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