The Person You Will Be in 5 Years is Greatly Determined by the People You Hang With, The Books You Read, and What You Watch on TV.
There are 3 main aspects to Wesleyan Theology: 1. Prevenient Grace 2. Justifying Grace and 3 Sanctifying Grace. In very simple terms, Prevenient Grace is the grace that comes before. God loves us even before we know/acknowledge there is a God. This is the basis behind why Methodist baptize infants. We believe that God’s grace extends even to infants who have no idea about God. Justifying Grace is when we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior through His death and resurrection. And Sanctifying Grace is the grace that God gives so that we can become more like Christ. Through God’s Sanctifying Grace, we are able to move closer to Christian perfection.
All of that to say that in our life, we are always changing and in 5 years, we will be different than we are today. No one stays the same. Through the trials of life, the celebrations, the tragedy’s, we change. Our goal as Christians is to become more like Christ and one of the tools that God has given us is other Christians. In fact, the people who we hang out with are going to have an impact on our lives (either positive or negative).
My mom always told me about “Trouble Street” and people who are going to get in trouble hang out with each other on “Trouble Street.” If I hung out on “Trouble Street”, then I too would get in trouble. Even if I tried not to because the people I hang out with have an influence on me. So, who you hang out with has an incredible impact on who you will be in 5 years. I am part of and encourage others to be a part of an accountability group. Being a part of a group like this will help you grow in the direction you choose to grow into. If you choose to grow as a Christian, part of that growth is going to involve other Christians. It’s really simple, if you want to become a better business man, you hang out with other successful businessmen; want to be the best crab fisherman, sign up to work on the Cornelia Marie (I’m watching Deadliest Catch right now); but if you want to grow as a Christian, you need to find a Christian mentor and learn from that person.
Almost as important as who you hang with is what you put into your mind. I used to just use books you read, but a youth at Latham UMC (Melissa N.) suggested that I add what we watch on TV. She was right, what we watch on TV has a huge impact and some of the garbage on TV is sad. (I apologize if I mention you’re favorite show) Desperate Housewives, Rock of Love, The Real World, Dr. Drew, Jerry Springer, Intervention and countless others. This stuff can’t be good to put in our minds. Watch enough of it and it blurs our morality. Things that are not OK become OK, things that are not ethical become something that we can turn our heads to. It’s dangerous and scary.
I’ve always love to read and I believe with all my heart that it is so important to read. Wesley was an avid reader. Some of my favorite are books that improve yourself. I love to read John Maxwell, Andy Stanley, Wayne Corderio, Zig Zigler, Bishop Willimon and others. I have just been re-introduced to reading some fiction and I love to read Ernest Hemingway.
This rule is based on one thing: We are growing (we can’t get away from it except through death) and we have a choice in the direction we grow. That direction is dictated by those who we are friends with and the stuff we put into our mind.
Just think about it.