“Association is one of the most powerful forces on the face of the earth. Ignore it at your peril” ~Dan Kennedy
Who are your friends or business associates? What type of ethics do they bring to their work? Have you ever given thought to how their actions might influence your thinking and behavior? In his excellent book on Time Management, Dan Kennedy speaks of the importance of associating yourself with the right people if you want to be successful. Kennedy mentions that if you hang around people with nominal integrity, you will soon be replicating their actions with less and less guilt as time goes on.
The Bible teaches this principle in how we lead our day-to-day lives when it advises:
Great blessings belong to those who don’t listen to evil advice, who don’t live like sinners, and who don’t join those who make fun of God.
(Psalms 1:1 ERV)
If your goal is to continue to grow as a person then find yourself a few mentors that you can learn from. I have friends in ministry who inspire and motivate me. I know what it is I want to become and I find successful people who are doing just that. I learn from them and ask about the mistakes they’ve made along the way. These relationships are intentional and I have to make them happen but over time,
In my position as a pastor, I constantly am in contact with people who I try to encourage to make these associations to live better and enjoy their walk with Christ. I work with the men and women I am blessed to lead to help them to help others and to not be caught in the snares that Satan can set. How can we make better associations? Here’s a few tips…
1) As I’ve already stated, find some “mentors” who can help to encourage your growth. (This is a blog post all to itself that I plan to write soon). Make your time with them intentional. Meet with them for lunch, coffee, or dessert. Have some questions that you want to ask. Don’t waste their time. They will grow to respect you for honoring their time.
2) Find “mentors” in the books you read. The Bible is a good start. In the book of Romans, we are encouraged to fill our minds with good things to help us to grow:
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
(Romans 12:2 ESV)
3) Identify two or three traits that you would like to acquire to be better in the areas you are passionate about. Once you’ve done that, identify some actions you could take to do this and then DO THEM EVERY DAY. Build a habit and it will last you for a lifetime but there’s no other way to do this then by being intentional.
Take time to work on yourself today. Ask God to show you areas that you can grow in. Be intentional about the actions you take. Don’t just go about your day without a clue. Growth comes to those who plan for it. Be that person NOW!