Have you heard you’re the sum of your top 5 friends?
If that’s true, and it seems to be, how does it make you feel?
Are you proud of the people you’ve surrounded yourself with?
Or do you feel irritated by your friends?
I always like to say we are like tofu and we take on the flavor of whatever we are cooked in.
In other words, we are easily influenced. Especially by people we keep close and value the opinions of.
Here’s something I’ve learned after a few decades of friends coming and going through my life; choose people that are teachable.
I desire to be teachable, so I keep people in my inner circle that are. Are they perfect? Nawwww, but they are humble and desire to grow in intimacy with Christ, allowing Him to transform their hearts.
I encourage you to be a fruit inspector.
There are many reasons you may want that person to be your BFF. Maybe they’re funny. Or they’re super nice. Perhaps they’re extremely talented and they like what you like.
Whatever the case may be, do you see fruit in their lives?
There are nine fruits listed in Galatians 5. I want to examine these characteristics for a second. This verse might be one we are all too familiar with and I want some fresh perspective.
Is your friend well disciplined?
Do they say things like, “I want to eat healthy” and you see them follow through?
Do they have compassion and empathy?
Are their words soft and kind yet sharpening to you?
Do they have hope, even in the circumstances that seem to be hopeless?
Do they trust that God will in fact answer that prayer?
Are they honorable?
Do they show honor to people who “don’t deserve it”?
Are they pure of heart?
Do they think well of others?
Are they polite, sweet and kind to people?
Are they loyally anticipating God to move mightily even when they’re in the middle of the storm?
Do they bring calm to chaos?
Is their joy, radiant and contagious?
When you picture their face, do you see a smile?
If they aren’t these things, do they want to be? So much that they are willing to actively pick up their cross and follow Christ? To deny their fleshly desires so that the evidence (fruit) of the Holy Spirit growing in them abounds?
Maybe you ask these questions and reflect on your friendships and realize they’re far from this. Can I ask you a hard self reflection question? (As if they weren’t hard up to this point)
Are you surrounding yourself with people that don’t bear fruit to make you feel better about your lack of fruit?
If you answered honestly in your heart to this, “yes”, ask yourself this next question.
Do you want to bear fruit?
If you do, you know what it requires. (Death of flesh, Galatians 5) But it’s ok if you said “no” in your heart to that. Perhaps you’re not ready to let go of what it may require. That doesn’t scare, shock or disappoint Jesus. He is patient, kind, loving, long suffering, faithful and good. He won’t force you. He lovingly waits at the door and knocks.
“But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions: joy that overflows, peace that subdues, patience that endures, kindness in action, a life full of virtue, faith that prevails, gentleness of heart, and strength of spirit. Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless.”
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”
~ Amanda Santistevan