by: Abby Hamrick, Summer Staff 2015
Have you ever heard something that you know you’ve heard about and learned before but it hits you all over again? A little shake from God to wake you up and make you uncomfortable about something you’ve been doing - or not doing. Something He wants you to work on?
I was having my quiet time recently and had this happen. I felt like God was saying, “Ok, you can do this better. Let’s work on it.” It came from the She Reads Truth study on Hospitality and it said this:
“'You become like the people you hang around.'
Oh man, I cannot tell you how many times I heard my parents caution me as a kid: Make wise choices. Be a leader. You will become like the people you hang around…You know who didn’t take my parents’ advice? Jesus.” (Raechel Myers)
Ok, so we’ve probably all heard this phrase before. I know I have. Hang around the people you most want to be like. Choose your friends wisely. Pick the people who are going to have a good influence on you. I can honestly say I’ve done this all of my life. I have some of the greatest friends anyone could have, and I feel like we’ve all chosen each other wisely and intentionally. We constantly work to encourage each other. We share the same beliefs, hold the same standards, and strive to lead one another closer to the Lord. We also love the same shows on Netflix, believe it’s completely acceptable to eat ice-cream out of the carton, and shop as if it is an Olympic sport - all of which are good things to have in common, by the way.
It’s important to have community with these people, the people you know, trust, and love. They’ll be the ones to celebrate with you on your good days and cheer you on through your bad ones. But I'm learning that too often, we (ok, mostly I) get too comfortable just being around these people…and then I read lessons like this one from She Reads Truth that reminds me again. Stop! Jesus didn’t just give us a heart for the people that we’re like - the one’s we’re comfortable around. He gave us a heart to care for the poor, help provide for the needy, love on the broken hearted. He gave us a heart to be intentional with the person sitting next to us in class who we literally have nothing in common with. The one at work who acts and looks a lot different than our other friends. Sure, He spent time with his friends, the one’s He was like, but He also spent His time with the people He wasn’t exactly like. He spent time talking and listening to widows. He let little kids climb all over His lap. He invited perfect strangers, ones that were detested by others, to come and eat meals with Him. Jesus didn’t come to hang out and listen to the hearts of the righteous - he came to hang out with sinners and show them the great love of His Father…sinners like you and me, and thank goodness He did!
So yes, we need good community. We need good friends who will build us up, good friends who understand our lives and live lives similar to ours. It’s important. Jesus gave us these people on purpose. He knows we need them. But, friends, let’s not live lives of similarity. Let’s put ourselves outside of our comfort zone and fully rely on the Lord as we step out and find company in those unlike ourselves. I think we’ll see more of Jesus when we do. It’s bound to become less about us and more about obeying what He’s called us to do and who He’s called us to love.
“On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “it is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners” - Mark 2:17
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About the Author:
Abby Hamrick is a student at Trident Technical College in Charleston, SC, where she is working on a degree in Hospitality and Tourism and a certificate in Event Management. After finishing school she hopes to be an event planner (most likely to plan weddings). Abby was a camper at Crossroads Summer Camp for 5 years growing up, and this year will be her first year working as a part of staff at camp. Also, her Instagram name is @ABBYHAMRICK