Monday, December 8, 2008

Are you listening?

What and who we listen to ultimately influences what we do.

(Thanks to Andy Stanley for his message on that theme for the past three weeks.)

What does that assertion say to you?

You often hear that you are a product of your associations. Everything about you, eventually, assimilates into the patterns of the people around you. Your thinking, your habits, your attitudes, your wardrobe. Your income. Eventually, everything.

It seems obvious when you see a group of teens all dressed alike. The latest trends to grunge. Hair the same, tattooed or not, perhaps piercing. It is also plain to see in talk, interests, music, hobbies and habits. Like attracts like, or else like becomes like if it wants to remain in the fold.

We instruct our children to watch who they hang out with. We know what can happen. Are we as careful ourselves?

That’s the “who” part. It’s not so obvious with the “what”. What we listen to. What we read. What we watch. Each of these inputs eventually drives our thinking, our belief systems, and finally our actions. When we see, hear, or watch something long enough, it becomes our norm. It becomes our reality. Over time, we may even find ourselves defending it as if our life depended on it.

Perhaps that’s actually true. Perhaps our life - the quality of our life - indeed depends on it.

In my personal mission statement, you’ll read this. "I never stop learning and growing, always drawing from the best sources of information. I guard my thoughts from unwholesome information and unhealthy environments. I seek wise counsel and mentorship, knowing that The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel."

What about your personal mission? If you are intentional about your future, it is critical that you ask:

“Who am I listening to?”
“What am I listening to?”

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