Lead Well: Good Company

We know this is true ~ who you hang around with shapes you. The right people in your life with the right words at the right time can make the right kind of difference.

Good company is different to hanging out your ‘friends’ after work for a drink. These are the friendships which go beneath the surface. More than a like on social media, these are the ones who show up when you really need them.

Good company is people who encourage, support, pray for and speak life over you. It is the ones who come alongside through the toughness, not necessarily to try and fix you but to simply sit in silence with you. It is the ones who don’t mock your grand ideas. Or let you get away with not chasing after those same ideas. Good company is saying more than ‘do what you feel’ or nothing at all. It is bringing words of comfort and a good old fashioned shove when you need it too.

This kind of good company can take a lifetime to flourish. This kind of good company is not broken easily. Fox-hole friendships. Grown through experience and season.

Good company may only be one or two and to be honest, when the good company is like this, then one or two are more than enough. Find them. Appreciate them.

Who is your good company?

With no good company the alternative is bad. This kind of company can say the same kind of words but with different motives, which leads to very different kinds of outcomes.  This kind of company isn’t thinking of you, it is thinking about itself.

Bad company corrupts, leads astray, doesn’t pray. It is well-meaning, yet not life-giving. It is surface friendship. Not encouraging, supportive or God-focused.

A well-meaning ‘whatever’, may be meant as support to your grand ideas but it isn’t really.  This kind of company are unreliable, not inconvenienced and unprepared to sit alongside. This is not a fox-hole friend, more like a ‘pity-party’ companion. It is those who love to talk about themselves, so they are encouraged.

Bad company may only be one or two, and to be honest, when the bad company is like this, then one or two are more than enough. Beware.

Who are your bad company?

People are important. This is not an instruction to get rid of all your friends. This is more a reminder about the value of great friends and knowing the difference. We can have lots of good people in our world and that’s alright. This doesn’t mean every word they share has to be acted upon. Find the better friends for the life-changing conversations. Those who share the same values for living as you, the same faith as you and the same God at the centre of all that they do.

What are your thoughts on this topic?

Soldier of the King

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Check this out ~ my daughter has a blog called Soldier of the King and she has set us all a challenge. A movement actually.

It’s simple really ~ we need to be an encourager of someone else and give a specific reason as to why we think they are amazing, to lift them up. And w
e need to do it for 10 days.

Let’s all get involved. Share it on social media. Invite your friends. Use the hashtag #werisebyliftingothers and let’s put some smiles on people’s faces.

Chew The Fat

I am of the opinion that everyone needs someone in their world with whom they can chew the fat. And let’s just clarify, I don’t mean gossip or banter. That doesn’t benefit anyone. I don’t just mean agreement either. I think we need more than that.

This is purposeful conversation but without agenda. This is the exchange of thoughts and ideas but without an overly critical opinion. This is the sharing of life stories in a relaxed, honest, open and transparent way.

Yesterday was such a day for me. Coffee with a friend while chatting around ‘stuff’. It was encouraging, refreshing and enlightening. Most importantly, I felt good (lifted even) when I left. Ideas were thought of and others were supported.

A non-agenda friendship. Sounds really boring when you put it like that but that’s what it is. There were no leading statements. No ‘big’ asks. It was natural. It was good fun. It made my soul healthier.

What makes such a person? For me it’s not the years we have known each other, it’s the heart. The shared values. The shared journey. Having the best in mind for one another. Add to that, there is discretion and an encouraging voice. Honestly, even though we didn’t talk about some things I came away with a clearer view on them.

You don’t need many, just one or two may be enough. So, ask yourself if you have one? If not, if I were you, I would go and find one.

Listen In.

We need to listen in.

We need to have an ear to hear what’s going on.

I’m not talking about eavesdropping. I’m thinking more about the development of a genuine interest in the conversations going on around us. Tonight, as I sit upstairs, I can hear the hubbub of the Connect Group happening in our front room. A bunch of young people discussing the recent series in Church. I can’t make out what they are saying yet it’s a beautiful sound to hear.

It’s full of the encouragement of friends. The sharing of thoughts and ideas. Prayers being spoken over one another. In the rush of my day I could easily miss this.

Listening is an art that many have lost. We talk too much. Some of us talk far too much. We have something to say and no time to listen. We want our questions answered and our opinions heard, yet I feel that maybe it there is a greater benefit if we would just listen more, listen to the sound of the hearts of the people around us. That maybe we should ask more questions about them and avoid just talking about ourselves, again.

Listening isn’t easy. In a world of non-stop noise it’s difficult to hear, so let’s pay better attention. Let’s celebrate the good things we hear but also be willing to be an ear for those who are troubled. Let’s listen to the stories, the journeys, the searching. Let’s close our own mouths and encourage others to open theirs.

Listen for what isn’t spoken. The cry of a heart is louder when you actually listen out for it. Unspoken words are often the most powerful words. That real meaning to what is being said. Let’s be people who ask the Holy Spirit to give them wisdom to hear what’s going on in the heart of our friends.

Listen to what God is saying. I think God can shout. However, a shout is still useless if we have already chosen not to listen. When we make time and pay attention, the whisper of God can sound more like a hurricane. I want to hear God’s voice. I need to hear God’s voice.

Listen in. God has something to say.

Listen in. The people around us are saying something and they need us to hear. We mustn’t be so busy about what we want that it gets missed.