“He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.” Proverbs 13:20 (NIV)
“The people you listen to are a preview of the future you.” (Jeff Henderson)
“The company we keep is like the soundtrack in our lives … inevitably we will dance to it.”
“For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” Matthew 18:20 (NLT)
YOU’LL NEVER BE ALL GOD WANTS YOU TO BE OR DO ALL GOD WANTS YOU TO DO WITHOUT THE RIGHT PEOPLE (CONTACTS) AROUND YOU.
“The LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’” Genesis 2:18 (NIV)
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NIV)
“Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’” 1 Corinthians 15:33 (NIV)
Intentionally seek and build the right relationships. Life changing relationships rarely happen by accident.
1.The right contacts help us navigate obstacles and temptations.
“One day Jonathan son of Saul said to the young man bearing his armor, “Come, let’s go over to the Philistine outpost on the other side.” But he did not tell his father. Saul was staying on the outskirts of Gibeah under a pomegranate tree in Migron. With him were about six hundred men, among whom was Ahijah, who was wearing an ephod. He was a son of Ichabod’s brother Ahitub son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the LORD’s priest in Shiloh. No one was aware that Jonathan had left. On each side of the pass that Jonathan intended to cross to reach the Philistine outpost was a cliff; one was called Bozez, and the other Seneh.” 1 Samuel 14:1-4 (NIV)
Bozez means slippery.
Seneh means thorny.
On every journey of faith, we navigate slippery and thorny obstacles. Where is your slippery or thorny place right now?
In what ways have your friends helped you navigate obstacles and temptations?
2.The right contacts help us overcome wavering faith.
“Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer, ‘Come, let’s go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised fellows. Perhaps the LORD will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the LORD from saving, whether by many or by few.’” 1 Samuel 14:6 (NIV)
Describe a time when your faith was wavering. How did others help you strengthen your faith?
3.The right contacts are with us heart and soul.
“‘Do all that you have in mind,’ his armor-bearer said. ‘Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.’” 1 Samuel 14:7 (NIV)
If you read on you’ll see they killed 20 men together even though they were outnumbered 10 to 1. We all need someone else to believe with us! The people in your life need you to believe in them!
“When all the Israelites who had hidden in the hill country of Ephraim heard that the Philistines were on the run, they joined the battle in hot pursuit.So the LORD rescued Israel that day, and the battle moved on beyond Beth Aven.” 1 Samuel 14:22-23 (NIV)
Who are some of the people that are with you heart and soul like the armor-bearer was for Jonathan? What steps do you need to take to start building relationships with the right people who will be with you heart and soul?
4.The right contacts support us in the battles of life.
“So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up--one on one side, one on the other--so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.” Exodus 17:10-13 (NIV)
5.The right contacts will be loyal for life.
“But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.” Ruth 1:16-17 (NIV)
Other Examples: Jesus sent followers out two by two, James & John, Barnabas & Paul, Paul & Silas
Two are better than one! You can never be all God wants you to be or do all God wants you to do without the right people around you! So …
Who are the people who have your back like an armor bearer?
Who will not only tell you that you can do it, but go with you into the battle?
Who will call out your potential, believe in you and battle for you?
Who will encourage you, lift you and speak life into you?
Who will correct you and confront you when necessary?
Who will raise kids and grandkids with you?
Who will go on vacation with you and bury your loved ones with you?
Who will walk with you as you struggle to pay the bills and struggle in your faith journey?
Who is in your inner circle? What changes need to be made?
What can you do to become a stronger and more supportive influence in all of your relationships?
How has having the right people in your life helped you to accomplish the things that God has asked you to do?
What things keep you from developing stronger relationships with others? How can you remove these barriers?
What’s God calling you to do that you need the help of others to accomplish?
Recommended Reading: “11 Indispensable Relationships You Can’t Be Without” by Leonard Sweet
Resource: “Two Gather” by Craig Groeschel (8/28/11); “Radioactive Relationships” Chapter
To find your greatest potential, you must surround yourself with people who encourage you --- not those who drain you or knock you down. Nothing will influence your talent as much as the important relationships in your life. The relationships in our lives really do make or break us; they lift us up or tear us down.
Some relationships take from us. Note whether a person makes you feel better or worse about yourself, and how much energy the relationship requires. Does it feel like it sucks the life out of you?
In his book High Maintenance Relationships, Les Parrott identified some of the types of people who take from us:
·Critics - constantly complain or give unwanted advice ·Wet Blankets - are pessimistic and habitually negative ·Gossips - spread rumors and leak secrets ·Control Freaks - are unable to let go and let things be ·Backstabbers - are irrepressibly two-faced
Some relationships add to us. They make us better; they energize, inspire, and validate us. We should view the people in these relationships as friends and value them highly. Some relationships are pivotal to our lives. Over the course of a lifetime we are in contact with thousands of people, most of whom have little impact on us. A few have tremendous impact and change the course of our lives; they are pivotal to who we are and what we do.
1.Identify the most important people in your life. Who do you spend the most time with? Whose opinions matter most to you? 2.Assess the direction they are influencing you in. Once you know who is influencing you, the question becomes how are they influencing you? 3.How do they behave toward you in difficult times? Do they kick you while you are down, or pick you up and help you keep going?
Choose your relationships wisely!
Resource: “Talent Is Never Enough” by John Maxwell