Proverbs 14: 7-8 (The Message)
A truth we all have to admit, thought we try to avoid, is that we are all relational. At our core we have a deep need to engage with others. We long for relationship seeking friendships that stand the test of time, dating situations that hopefully evolve into marriage and family engagement latent with love and compassion. In short, there is a need to fill a space in our world with someone or someone’s that meets our need for relationship. The reality is God created us as relational beings. There is nothing wrong with the desire to connect with others. The problem arises when we engage in relationships that prohibit our possibility. It is at that point, when we have to take a moment to check our crowd and make some adjustments.
Dodge The Dunces
Proverbs says that we need to “escape quickly from the company of fools.” Now, I am sure we have all had those moments where we found ourselves engaged in some conversations or doing some things with some folk that made absolutely no sense. Yeah, at that instant, at that time – we need to make a decision to dodge the dunce. When we have to dumb down to maintain the relationship that is clearly a “crowd checker.” No relationship is worth the sacrifice of who you are. If your crowd can’t handle your intellectual gifts, spiritual growth, or character it is time for a change.
When we find ourselves feeling better apart than we do with others, it is clearly time for a change. I know he or she may be fine but, if they can’t comprehend your conversation, don’t encourage your walk with Christ – crowd check. As one handcrafted by God Himself, you are too valuable to be watered down in the cloud of cognitive dissonance. As Van Moody puts it in The People Factor, “When we determine that certain people will add value to our lives, then we can choose to enter into relationship with them.” There are some people we have to adjust not only because they add no value but they decrease ours. Yes, my friend we have to dodge the dunce.
Ditch the Distractors
The wrong company can lead to a waste of time, our most valuable asset. When we surround ourselves with people who “just don’t get it” we run the risk of investing time and energy with no return in site. The more time spent trying to make “them” understand our call, our passion, our purpose – the more time we waste that could have been invested toward possibility. What’s worse, these same individuals can cause us to lose focus. The time we once spent in The Word of God, we now spend trying to make them feel comfortable. Time we used to spend in worship is now spent running behind them attempting to resurrect what is already dying. Goals and Vision we used to chase relentlessly is now a subtext, to text checking and word wars that slowly choke the life out of energy we once had for purpose.
We have to make the decision to let some people go. There are some in our past and present we have to disconnect from, in order to embrace our future. Investments in wasted time yield returns of regret and frustration. Holding on to personnel of distraction is a detour from destiny not worth taking.
Develop Fruitful Relationships
Proverbs shares, that the way we can avoid lying in the ditch of derailed destiny is latent in the wisdom of the wise. We have to engage in relationships that bring wisdom and fruitfulness to our lives. It is imperative to check our crowd and surround ourselves with people who are going somewhere. We need relationships that encourage spiritual and intellectual growth, people who see our potential and nurture it, and individuals who push us to the next level of possibility.
Also, we need people in our lives who will “pull our coattail” with Godly wisdom. There may some things we think we are ready for – but wisdom says not yet. There has to be someone in our world who loves us enough not to let us get in our own way. We need relationships that will allow room for truth-telling and compassionate correction – people who care more about our not yet than our right now.
As people of purpose and possibility we have to make the decision to check our crowd and be willing to make the adjustments necessary to live a life toward destiny avoiding the ditch of despair. Remember, Dodge the Dunces, Ditch the Distractors, and Develop Fruitful Relationships and watch God take you places you never imaged.
Check Your Crowd!
Be Blessed . . .