I recently heard somebody make the statement that we are all the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with. I guess he was saying that people rub off on us. This statement intrigued me so I sat down and made a list of character traits I most want in people I regularly spend time with – family, friends, peers, mentors.
Here’s my list:
- The choices they make reflect a desire to treat themselves and those around them as God’s image bearers. The things they choose to do, to say, to watch, to repeat, to emulate, to get involved with, all reflect an understanding that we are created in God’s image – that we are His image bearers – and this is of utmost importance to them.
- Their faith is evident in their daily life. They have developed a consistent and sincere devotional life, they are lovers of God, his word and his ways. They love what He loves and they strive to do what He does.
- Their family is well loved. They know that the people they are called to serve first is their family. Their spouse, their children, their parents and their siblings are the inner circle – gifts given to them by God. These people are first in line to be loved and cared for.
- They are good friends. They understand that friendship is a gift given and a gift received. They are welcoming, hospitable, giving, open to new friendships, loyal to old friends, willing to go deep, not given to ‘clicks’, deliberately seek diversity and who are fun to be around.
- They lead excellently. They understand that leadership is servanthood not masterhood, that leadership is a mantle to be worn gently yet resolutely, that confidence with humility is needed and they understand that leading can only take place while following.
- They are both teachable and apt to teach. They are intentional about growing others, mentoring and modeling while all the while seeking these very things out for themselves.
- They are great at what they do yet always strive for better. There is evidence of excellence at the skill they are honing, their work ethic is strong yet they have never arrived and don’t know it all. Getting better at what they do and challenging others to climb higher is something they will do until their last breath.
These are great attributes I want from the 5 people I hang out with the most. However, the question to truly ask is whether I am all of this to those around me. Therein lies the real challenge.
“One who loves a pure heart and who speaks with grace will have the king for a friend.” – Proverbs 22:11