so i have started a series of new year’s evolutions – with the idea of moving beyond a dream list of ‘i wish this for next year’ to some specific steps and actions to put into place to help you transform yourself into a better person in 2012. and my next evolution suggestion is this:


wait, you mean ‘DON’T hang out with the wrong people’, right?

i meant “hang out with the wrong people”, altho to be more accurate there should probably be some ” ” around the wrong people.

so ja, i think the key to this new year’s evolution is the question ‘who is doing the influencing?’ – Jesus was constantly accused of hanging out with the “wrong people” – drunkards, prostitutes, children, women [who were “wrong” at the time to hang out with] and yet He was never influenced or shaped by those He spent time with as much as He influenced or shaped them. He was affected by His encounters with people for sure – He was moved with compassion for people on many occasions, but He was never negatively changed by those He spent time with.

so another key would be to be strong in who you are, in your identity. if hanging around with the “wrong people” continuously results in you being brought down and compromising and messing up, then you may need to regroup and hang with the right people for a bit until you are secure in who you are before setting out again.

but, as mentioned, Jesus often hung around with the “wrong people” and so if we call ourselves followers of Him [as i do] then it would make sense that we would do the same as well.

# Jesus didn’t care about his reputation – hanging around with the “wrong people” will make people question yours and that is okay, if you are living for an audience of One. as Dr Seuss put it [believe it or not], “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

# The world is all about me, me, me. Jesus’ kingdom is about loving God and loving people and looking after the least of these [and if you are hanging out with the right people then as they live out God’s kingdom they will take care of the ‘me’ for you, but it shouldn’t be your focus]

# as much as we can assist and give and share with “the wrong people” so we can learn from them too – it starts by asking someone their name and taking some time to listen to their story – who knows what the so-called “wrong people” of the world have to teach us about life and love and our faith

and so this year, be intentional about hanging out with the wrong people – if you are a christian and you only ever hang out with other christians then you are not being a Christ-follower which is what we were called to be and do. who is one person or family that might be considered the “wrong people” to hang out with, that you are going to choose to get invested in their lives in 2012?

to continue to the next really important one, click here…