Thoughts & Thangs

The Influence of Others

(From the drafts) Do birds of a feather truly flock together? At home, this point tends to come up especially around men and women relationships where a young lady and her perceived sexual activities and then assumed to be true for her friends. The judgements and assumptions come from all around — older women, young men, people in the church…wherever. Whatever, that’s not what this is about.

It is important though, to consider how the people around you influence your interests, decision-making, conversational topics, habits (good and bad). For example, being in a long distance marriage, it’s quite the conundrum as to who you hang with. Persons whose partners/spouses are here would be ideal but without my partner, it becomes a weird three’s a company situation because you can’t really double-date. You also have to balance how much time you spend with single friends and which ones because even if you and someone of the opposite sex are cool peeps, you don’t want to put yourself into a precarious situation that could be harmful to your marriage. Single friends are also going to have different patterns of going out, because they don’t have anyone they should be checking in with. And there are just some places, married folks need not hang that your single friends may innocently invite you to.

People around you can also influence your spending habits. The more you go out, the more you’re naturally going to spend, and if you’re on a tight budget, it can be hard. Not everyone may understand your goals, and that’s okay.

I think this is why it’s important that you be solid in how you spend your alone time. Developing self (whatever that means to you) and being okay with your own company. This past holiday break gave me much needed time to reset and refocus on my goals and plans. Not just binging on Netflix, but getting back into good habits. Covid-19 has made the opportunity for personal reflection time vast! Even moreso now since the internet does not come on until 9am. I’ve been forced to make better use of my mornings.

It’s also important that even if you and your crew have very different foci at the moment, it’s okay to find other people around you that are focusing on what you currently want to focus on and spend more time with them.

As iron sharpens iron,

    so one person sharpens another.

Proverbs 27:17

Whether we realize it or not, we’re all exchanging energy…through our words, our smiles, our grimaces… in the time we spend with other people. Think about what you’re getting in exchange for what you’re giving. Is it helpful or harmful to you?

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