When faced with decisions, who are you listening to?
Your sphere of influence determines your thought patterns.
In I Kings 3, Solomon’s first response when he became king was to offer sacrifices to God. He came with a humble heart and asked for discernment to serve his people well. He was surrounded by David’s advisers, men who had been positively influenced by King David himself. Though Solomon eventually drifted away from this positive sphere, as long as he was in this place, the kingdom prospered.
In contrast, Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, went in a different direction. He became king in tumultuous times. Many tribes were frustrated with Solomon’s handling of things and even approached the newly crowned king, asking for reprieve. Rehoboam originally asked wise, experienced men what he should do. But he quickly rejected their advise and instead turned to his real sphere of influence – “the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him.”
Their advice ultimately led to the split of the kingdom – only the tribes of Judah and Benjamin were left for Rehoboam. The rest left and formed the kingdom of Israel.
Rehoboam’s friends may have told him what he wanted to hear, but it wasn’t what he needed to hear.
Now, your decisions will not end up dividing whole kingdoms or countries. But, it is still important to take a look at how you are making decisions in your life and who you are allowing to speak into them. Are they telling you what you need to hear, or just what you want to hear?
Think through the five people who you speak with the most each day or week.
This isn’t going to be necessarily your favorite people or the ones you want to hang out with the most. Instead, this would be the five people who interact with you the most. These five people, whether we want them to be or not, end up being the ones who feed into our decision making. It could be a boss, employee, neighbor, friend, or family member.
One influential “person” that may be overlooked, but has a huge effect on our thoughts and actions – Social Media. It is a tricky ‘friend.’ Time spent with them can be short and sweet – like catching up with friends you haven’t seen in a long time. But it also can be time-consuming and discontent-inducing when you find yourself scrolling way too long and wondering how ‘she’ can have it all together.
When you start to feel overwhelmed or anxious, it could be time to evaluate your circle. Who are the people you are allowing to speak into your thoughts and days? Do these people make you operate from a point of comparison? Are you doing things because you see others doing it and feel like this should be what you are doing too?
The people in your circle can lead you towards wisdom, as in the example of Solomon – or towards pride or fear, as in the example of Rehoboam.
This week, let’s take some time to look at our own circle of influence. Who are we allowing to speak into our life? Who are we listening to? If God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit isn’t the first on the list, then we need to start there.
Being intentional with our relationships and evaluating their effects in our own life, can be beneficial for our mental health. If we have people within our circle that we feel are leading us toward negativity and anxiety, we shouldn’t cut them out of our lives. We may actually be the light that they need right now. Instead, think through others in your life that you need to interact with more. The people who are going to encourage you, speak God’s truth, and even call you out if you’re moving off the right path.
Let’s seek to have a heart like Solomon in I Kings 3 – humble and desiring to serve, surrounding himself by wise counsel. And let’s also seek to be that in others’ lives as well.
Believe it or not, it’s not too early to think about Advent!
Looking for a short devotional that will help center your heart on the true reason for the season?
Prepare Him Room: an Intentional Advent welcomes you to come along on this journey of seeking to be intentional with the Advent Season – to look at several areas of our life where we can Prepare Him Room.