Be Intentional About Who You Spend Time With

You're only as influential as those you surround yourself with.

I’m an introvert. I like quiet. I crave alone time. I get distracted and irritated by large crowds and noise. And you know what’s totally crazy?  I’m a musician and have been a pastor in some form or fashion for my entire adult life. Both of those categories revolve around crowds, people and noise! Want to know something. I’m kind of exhausted. I’m fried. I feel like I’ve been running into the wind and uphill for a long time. I want more. I want to feel like I’m being intentional. I want to feel like the time I’m spending with people other than my family is important. Ever feel like that?

choosing friends

Even though I function as an introvert, I’ve always felt a strong pull towards making people feel important and special (which is noble in general), but in the midst of those feelings and “good intentions” I tend to lose myself to the business of people pleasing. Sound familiar?

So, here I am. 48+ and wanting something different. Wanting something…more. Intentional. Adventurous. Unconditional.

Thankfully these feelings haven’t sent me looking for a younger, hotter woman (I married the younger, hotter woman!).

What the feelings and thoughts have pushed me to is towards processing what is important and who is important in my life.

Here’s what I think. Here’s what I know. Who you surround youself with is more important than how many! Did you hear that? For all of you who think that quantity of friendships out way quality you need to stop. Now! I know that you don’t want to hurt feelings. I know that you want to be nice. Friendly. But that’s not the same thing as being intentional.

I’m a follower and disciple of Jesus. Want to know something about him? He really only had a tight group of 12 people that he spent time with. And even then, there were only 3 really, really tight friends. No matter what you think about Christianity, Jesus knew what he was doing. He knew that to be truly intentional. To be truly influential, you needed to narrow the amount of influence those around you had. Because when you did that, your influence would grow.

Here’s what I’m doing in this season.

  1. I’m pausing – from expending unnecessary energy in relationships that aren’t reciprocal.
  2. I’m processing – what I want/need from the relationships/friendships that I believe are important
  3. I’m pursuing – those relationships that have come through the process

I know that many of you right now are squirming. You’re squirming because you think that this is being mean and harsh and selfish. You know what? It probably is…just a little. But again. Here’s the deal. Jesus. The great historical teacher and philosopher was intentional about who he surrounded himself with (and I believe He was more than those things). When we are thoughtful about our relationships. When we are truly, truly intentional about who we allow in to our lives, life will honestly be better. Grander. More full of purpose. So? Are you in? Let’s be about intentionality. Let’s be about purpose.