“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” ~~Jim Rohn.
Think about it. Who influences you the most? Who speaks into your life more than anyone else? Who do you spend the most time with? Which five people work everyday to build your belief system, your values, your personality and your identity?
In other words, whose DNA do you have? Is television feeding your life? Negative influences? A pastor? A friend who just can’t stay positive? An encourager? A Debbie Downer? A spouse, a friend or relative?
Who is responsible for you being you?
The Bible is replete with examples of how influence affects one another. Those examples come in the form of warning or exhortation and even real-life illustrations.
“Bad company corrupts good morals.” 1 Cor. 15:33.
“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17
“You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?” Galatians 5:7.
We’ve often been told that we are a product of our environment, and you’ve undoubtedly heard the phrase: “Garbage in, garbage out!” While we are not computers, our makeup is the sum ingredients of what we hear, see, touch and sense. Indeed, that is why we’re told in Scripture to “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23 NIV.
Listen to someone for five minutes and you can tell where their heart is. You can tell where they spend their time. You can tell who — or what — has captivated them. And, more importantly, you can tell who — or what — influences them on a regular basis.
It’s the same with money. You’ve heard it preached many times: “Give me your checkbook and I can tell who is your god.” Just follow the money.
It’s true of where you work and where you play. Think about that big influence at the office. Or the baseball or soccer team, or that group of ladies you associate with, or the guys you hang with for “fun”. For better or for worse, they are likely among the five people who influence you the most.
So, which five people do you spend the most time with? It may not necessarily be sitting across from them at the table or going to dinner with them or taking trips together. But it is the five people who influence you everyday. Whose DNA is embedded in your personality and your existence? In other words, who makes up your world?
And, perhaps here is the more important question: Whose life are you influencing? You are one of somebody else’s 5. What do you bring to their table? And what do you leave with them at the end of the conversation? At the end of the day? And the end of that lunch? At the end of that ballgame or Bible study?
Want to change your life? Want to have an impact on others?
Take a moment to take stock in your 5 major influences. Is it your daily Bible or devotion reading? CNN or Fox News? Facebook? Your parents, or kids? Your spouse? God? Your boss? A colleague at work?
Now, what can you do about it? You may not be able to change the person, but you can exchange the person. If person #4 in your circle of influence is having an undue negative impact on your life, replace their influence. No, you can’t replace your husband or the parents on the baseball team, and you obviously can’t replace your boss. But you can replace their influence as much as possible. You can diminish their influence and increase the influence of another source.
And there is nothing wrong with telling them you are doing so. If you approach it with respect and consideration for the other person, they will understand and perhaps even thank you for it.
Or perhaps it’s just a part of a relationship. I recently told someone I could no longer discuss politics with them. I didn’t cut off the relationship entirely, but I related that we could discuss our kids, the weather, sports teams and food. Just not politics, because it had become destructive.
Be honest, who — and what — are influencing your life? Are those influences edifying or destructive?
Who are the five most influential people in your life? Make that list, it shouldn’t take long. Then, determine if they are having a positive impact on you and resolve to make changes if necessary.
Remember, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Make the time count. Make the relationships the best. And then ensure you are one of the best five influencers for your friends, family and co-workers.