There once was a young man who wanted to introduce his new love to his mother. To soften the introduction, he broached the subject with his mother first. Because lineage and social class were important to her, she quickly asked, “Who are her people?”
The mother’s motives aside, like any concerned parent, she wanted to know more about the young woman who had won her son’s heart. What cloth was she cut from? What did she want? What kind of company did this young woman keep? They were all legitimate questions just not the right ones.
Indeed the people in our lives are a reflection of our lives. The question is: what do we want to see in those mirrors staring back at us? Whether family, friends, coworkers or acquaintances, the new year is the perfect opportunity to check the mirror. Who we invite into our social circle is just as significant as the family circle we inherit.
Do they make deposits or withdrawals? Do they add to the quality of your life or strip it away? Do you feel energized in their presence or depleted? Do they help or hurt? Do they tear you down or build you up? Do they allow you to be yourself or are you exhausted pretending to be someone else? If we see ourselves the way God sees us, then we’ll be more mindful of how we let others treat us.
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God. And that is what we are! The reason the world did not know us is because it did not know him.” (1 John 3:1)
In the new year, let not the metric of our lives be measured in likes but instead the measure of the people in it. The right people can put us and keep us on the right path. The wrong people can take us off course and keep us off task.
The better question for that concerned mother (and any of us) to ask: Is this the right person for my life’s path?