Emulate: match or surpass (a person or achievement) typically by imitation…
Something I remember hearing a few times is that we become like the 5 people we spend the most amount of time with. I reckon this saying has more than a grain of truth to it. The Bible talks about how bad company can corrupt good character.
Last week I went for a walk on my own, and ended up thinking a bit about this sort of stuff. Believing that God is sovereign over the rabbit-trails in my mind, I’m inclined to believe that He wants me to be thinking about who I spend a lot of time with.
I don’t think there is much point naming names here, seeming as no-one reads this blog who really knows me. But after I thought about who I actually spend the most amount of time with, and what things I probably imitate from them. I pondered about who are the people in my life who I most wanted to be spend time with (it goes without saying that Jesus was on the list!) and what they all had in common.
Some of the common traits of all the people on my top 5 list had:
- Devotional life: everyone one of them had a great devotional life, not that they necessarily bragged about it to me. But through spending nights together and living together for weekends or weeks away I saw them practice it. One guy would be reading his bible as I was waking up and as I was dropping of to sleep. For me this really fulfilled the advice of Psalm 1: ‘to meditate on His word day and night’.
- Gentle-humility: oddly enough this is something I really struggle with (and that’s not me trying to be humble), but pride and ego are really quick to come about in me. Especially when I’m doing a lot of “good” things, and maintaining a disciplined life. None of the guys on my top 5, we particularly forceful or overbearing, but great listeners looking to hear my voice not just assert theirs.
- Open with their hearts: through spending time and talking with these guys I’ve heard about their weaknesses, fears and hopes. The things I make a lot of effort to hide.
I guess there were lots more things about them which I admired, but they stick out a fair amount. Particularly their devotional life.
I guess where I’m at now, is asking and working out ‘how I can get to spend more time with them?’, ‘who am I influencing by spending time with – are they picking up good traits or bad ones as a result?’, ‘in what ways does my marriage spur each of us towards Jesus-likeness and then the flip-side of that?’