While attending a Tony Robbins conference years ago I remember him saying, “Who you spend time with is who you become.”
Even if we try to not be like them we learn things without knowing it. In Bridges to Contemplative Living, Thomas Merton shares some of that same principle when talking about how others influence him and his thinking when he writes, “I don’t know what I have written that I could really call mine, or what I have prayed or done that was good that came from my own will” (p. 31). Merton is telling us that the work he produces is, in a way, a reflection of the influence of many other people (most of all God) in his life.
Perhaps that is why he emphasizes so much throughout his writings to always focus on God and seek God’s will. When we seek to listen to God and spend time with God, He is more likely to influence our live even if we do not realize it.
On the flip side if we fill our minds with “R” rated movies, poor books, and materialistic TV shows we are sure to allow those to influence our minds, thus pushing God out of our thoughts. Then we are forced to have to do as Thomas a Kempis says in The Imitation of Christ, to “fight against all evil thoughts that come to mind and to reject all the devil’s suggestions” (p. 83).
If we choose to not fill our mind with poor things of this world and instead focus on God we should be able to lessen those evil thoughts and devilish suggestions.
Question: How do you allow God and others to speak into your life and positive influence you?