Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Choose Your Companions

"Choose your companions before you choose your road."   
Mark Burnett

I heard this quote last week and it immediately resonated with me.

Now, as a believer I'm pretty sure I'm supposed to choose my road first. You know, the straight and narrow. But well, I guess I did choose Jesus first, so maybe it works after all.

Anyway, I have some great traveling companions in this life: husband, family, friends, coworkers. They make all the difference.

First came the family. I had two hardworking, loving Christian parents who only wanted the best for us. I have a sister I love and with whom I played house, school, Barbies, Lite Brites, and Monopoly. She's added a great husband and two amazing kids to the family. My mom has even recently added to our number by marrying into the Knowles clan, which is full of fun, friendly people. Not to mention the nearly innumerable aunts, uncles and cousins we already had!

Of course, I didn't choose them; I'm just blessed to have them.

I did choose my husband. Or maybe he chose me. Whichever it was, it's worked out pretty well! He loves and supports me, works hard, and is lots of fun. He knows the worst and loves me anyway. I am a better person today than I would be without him.

I've had some great friends all along the way, from childhood to now. They have encouraged me to good behavior and embarrassed me out of bad. They have told me the truth, and laughed and cried with me. A big part of who I am today has been influenced by my friends.

I even get to work with great people, many of whom are also my friends. How often does that happen?

Back to the quote. It means that who you're with is even more important than where you're going. Again, I'm not completely sure it holds up if you take it literally, but I love the sentiment. The people with whom we choose to spend our time influence us greatly. They can encourage or discourage, support or undermine, energize or drain, build up or tear down, exhort or criticize, love or hate. It's important that we choose our companions wisely.

But, you know? It's also important that we are good companions. Could those around me say that I make them a better person just by knowing me? Do I bring out the best in them? Do I "rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep?" (Rom. 12:15) Do I consider others more important than myself? (Phil. 2:3) Do I act with kindness and forgiveness? (Eph. 4:32) If I'm honest, I have to say not often enough.

How about you?

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