When you are young it is especially important to choose who you hang out with very carefully. Whoever you decide to spend the majority of your time around can influence you, your life and actions.
There is truth in the saying, “Who you hang out with is who you become“.
When I was in high school I started to hang out with a group of kids who spent the majority of their time skipping school, and smoking. Because that was the majority of what they did, I ultimately fell into the same pattern as them.
When I started spending my time with people who were actively trying to give back to the community and serving Jesus, I fell into the pattern of serving and loving others. Because I saw my friends do that, it started to become important to me and I started building good and healthy habits.
Who you surround yourself with matters. The people you spend the most time around end up influencing your life – from what you wear, to what tv shows you watch, to how you act on a daily basis, etc.
Growing up something that I struggled with was wanting to be friends with everyone. I wanted to get to know everyone, so sometimes I ended up with several different groups of friends who were so vastly different from each other.
It was basically like I combined trail mix, skittles, and m&m’s into a bowl together. I had an eclectic bunch of friends.
When I was 19 I lost a dear friend, in a tragic car accident. He was the type of person who always had a bright smile on his face and could always make a person smile even if they weren’t feeling very smiley that day.
I hadn’t hung out with him very much at that point, due to a change in differences in beliefs. However, from that point on I learned the importance of truly valuing the friends in your life and holding them dear to your heart. They can be gone in a moments notice – and to this day I wish I had gotten to know him better and appreciated his presence more.
I also learned that you can’t always be friends with everyone in life, and you can’t always be there for everyone. Of course, throughout your life as your values, beliefs, and interests continue to evolve the people who you choose to surround yourself with and spend your time with will change and shuffle. Some people will be in your life from a day, some for only a season, and others for a lifetime.
Learn to choose your crowd wisely and appreciate those that you have in your life.