Hi, my name’s Father Mike Schmitz and this is Ascension Presents. So I came across this quote, I don’t know, a couple years ago by a guy named Jim Rohn. He’s a motivational speaker and like kind of a life coach guy and he made this claim. He said that we become the average of the five people we spend the most time with, that, you know, we adopt the perceptions, the perspective, the worldview, the attitude, we adopt the kind of lifestyle of the five people we tend to spend the most time with. And I looked at my own life and I thought,
“Oh my gosh, that completely resonates,” right? Like, so a little story. I grew up in a family, was raised in a family where working out, exercising, just taking care of yourself was kind of a given, right, so on any given day of the week, whether it be a weekday or a weekend, the question was never, “Hey, are you gonna go work out today?” The question was, “What are you going to do for your workout today?” and that was the mentality, that was the the attitude of basically, all my family members and it was instilled in us by my
mom and my dad. And so, it became really easy to say, “No, that’s just a part of a healthy life is we get outside and run and bike and ski and do something outside.” Now later on in life, college, seminary or whatever, not
everyone has that mentality and I found myself spending a lot of time with people who their idea of working out would be, you know, to run to the door when the pizza box came, which is also a nice thing to do. It’s a nice little jog. Or they’re drinking the beer and sitting on the couch and watching TV or playing video games. And I found myself becoming less and less inclined to working out and more and more inclined to, “Yep, I’ll have another slice of pizza,” or
“Yeah, I’ll just kind of relax,” and not exercise. And I realized in myself like, “Yes, that’s right. I’m becoming, in a certain sense, the average of the five
people that I’m spending the most time with.” Now, I don’t think this is like scientifically verified. I just think this is kind of one of those observations that a guy like Jim Rohn and myself would make and say, “It seems true.” Now, but I’ve talked to people who have said like two things, like either “I don’t like that,” or they’ll say, “But what if you don’t have a
choice?” right? So like I have talked to people who are like, “I don’t like that idea. I don’t like the idea that you have to, you know, exclude yourself or that you’d have to not spend time with certain people because they’re not good for you.” Now, here’s what I’d say. I’d say no one’s saying you can’t spend time with certain kinds of people, but we are saying you
have to choose wisely, right? But I’ve found so many people in the last couple
years, in my experience, have this, what I call, a misplaced loyalty. So it’s like just because, you know, we went to high school together or just because we were on the same floor together in college or because we had the same major or because we happen to have like, you know, kids in the same grade or whatever that is, we have this then misplaced loyalty that I have to be friends with you, have to spend time with you now because we used to back then. That seems false, especially if you realize that this relationship, it’s not good for me, it’s not good for the people around me, because our first loyalty, of course, is first to God and our second loyalty, in many ways, is to ourselves. I mean, that might sound weird to say that but we have a responsibility to God
for the kind of people that we become. But again the second objection is,
“But what if you don’t have a choice?” What if the people you spend the most time with are people at work or better yet, or worse yet, I’m not sure, your family, people you’re related to. You don’t have a decision.
You don’t have a choice. I’ll say in that case there’s two things to keep in mind: One is boundaries.
We’re gonna do a video on that later on but like you can still establish boundaries with people that you work with or even, you can establish boundaries with family members and say, “No, just because we happen to be related to each other, doesn’t mean all bets are off, doesn’t mean you have complete access to my heart, my mind, and my life.” I can establish some boundaries and some clear boundaries. Secondly, if I recognize that the people I spend a lot of time with are people who complain a lot or they have a negative attitude towards life or they have a victim mentality or there’s a lot of gossip or there’s a lot of—
whatever that kind of negativity, not only can there be boundaries but secondly, I recognize that OK, I’m gonna
have to make some decisions and one of those decisions is I’m going to swim against the grain. I’m gonna go against the tide of the people that I’m
surrounded by. Doesn’t mean I don’t love them, but it does mean I’m making a decision that I will not be unduly influenced or, I will even say this, I will
not be unconsciously influenced because yep, I have an obligation to these people,
I must spend time with them. It’s a good thing. I’m honoring that commitment, but at the same time, I recognize that unless I make a decision to take a stand, to go against the grain, to go against the tide, that I will become the average of those five people I spend the most time with. Does that mean, again, we can’t
have friends who need help? No, of course not. Does that mean we can’t be close to people who do tend to gossip or do tend to have, you know, difficulty in life?
Of course not. But I would take a page out of like any of the saints, but let’s look at Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Saint Teresa of Calcutta. The people she spent the most time with were one, Jesus — two to three hours a day in Adoration. Secondly, her sisters, her religious sisters. Now to spend that much time with Jesus is to be lifted up, right? Spending that much time with Jesus and surrounding yourself by other sisters who are pursuing Christ was what gave Mother Teresa the power and the ability and the strength to reach out to those people that she served: the people who were forgotten, the people who were hard to love. And I just I love … one of my favorite stories in the Old Testament is obviously, the well not obviously, but I talk about it a lot, the story of David. He’s heroic as a young man, that he is courageous, that he is fearless, that he has the Lord and he’s dedicated to the Lord, but he would go after the fight, you know. When David meets Jonathan, it says in Scripture in First Samuel, it was that they immediately basically loved each other. You know, people, you know, modern people say,
“Oh gosh, bromance!” like no, no, no. What did they love? Well David saw something in Jonathan that he loved in himself and Jonathan saw something in David
that he wanted to be as well because earlier in that story, there’s a story of how Jonathan like was also courageous, was also brave, was also one of those kind of people who would say, “Something needs to be done. I’m gonna go do it,” just like David was when Goliath was challenging the Israelite army, “Something’s to be done. I’ll go do it.” And they saw in the other like,
“That’s the kind of person I want to be. That’s the kind of person I want to hang around.” I think it might be a truth or at least close to a truth that we become roughly the average of the five people we spend the most time with. So who are you choosing to spend the time with? You only have one life. We have a loyalty and responsibility to God first, to ourselves, to become the kind of people God wants, second and then, if we are that kind of person,
we can reach out to others, third. From all of us here at Ascension Presents,
my name is Father Mike. God bless you and your five friends.
*click* Wink? I don’t think I should wink, that
seems weird. If I have wink plus the finger guns, that’s different but not like *click* “Hey there,” *click* No, that doesn’t work! How about this? *click click* That’s better, right? Is it better? Probably not better. It’s probably weird. Probably weird. It’s weird.