Influence: the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself. Someone or something is constantly influencing your decisions, your actions, and possibly your opinions which affects your character. These can come from family nurturing, peer motivations, our own choices based on environment or perhaps instructors, advisors, or counselors. So, who or what, do you believe has had the most influence on you? Evidence is in your reflection.
Have you ever heard the sayings, You become like those with whom you associate; Or, You become what you think about? Truth of the matter is we become what we behold! Proverbs 13:20 says, "He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed."
Generally parents discovers personality traits their children, whether good or bad, have selected to parrot from friends or school associates. If that quality is acceptable, it's welcomed. However, if it is inappropriate of course it's discouraged. We could presume it's because they socialize with them daily, discovering habits and mannerisms to use.
Because we are so easily swayed by others and things, it would behoove us to be discerning about what we are watching or with whom we are associating. Keeping company with the wrong crowd can lead to a destructive life and an undesirable outcome. Listening to unethical conversations, opinions, or advice can steer us in the wrong direction. Watching immoral media will obviously fill the heart and mind with foolish judgements and beliefs. The Bible clearly gives us instruction on what type of person we are to model ourself after.
Rom. 13:14, "But clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah), and make no provision for [indulging] the flesh [put a stop to thinking about the evil cravings of your physical nature] to [gratify its] desires (lusts)."
Eph. 5:1 "Therefore be imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father]."
3 John 1:11 "Beloved, do not imitate evil, but imitate good. He who does good is of God; he who does evil has not seen (discerned or experienced) God [has enjoyed no vision of Him and does not know Him at all].
Heb. 6:12 NKJ "that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises."
And Paul wrote in 1Cor. 11:1 "Pattern yourselves after me [follow my example], as I imitate and follow Christ (the Messiah)."
In each of the referenced scriptures the theme implied is 'imitating'. Since emulating is natural, God is instructing us to choose the right one to follow. Inasmuch as we desire to 'be like' someone, maybe we need to reevaluate with who or what we are trying to identify.
Being a Christian isn't just a cliche'. It means to be like Christ. I realize that there are a lot of people in the world that say they are 'Christians', yet their lifestyle nor their conversation emulate Christ. That does not make everyone who says they are Christian counterfeit. Just like one bad lawyer or doctor, doesn't mean all lawyers or doctors are corrupt. Matthew 12:33 explains a 'tree is known by it's fruit'. Consequently the evidence of a person's character is shown in his/her actions, words, consistency, habits, or mannerisms. If you observe someone long enough you'll know. Plus your reflection reveals your status.
Know for sure what or who you are reflecting, as a guide follow 2 Corinthians 3:18 by keeping your eyes on God's Word, then He will transform you daily to be more like Him. ("And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit.")
All scriptures used are Amplified version unless specified.
Pastors Michael & Ginny Gulotta
Pro. 11:25 "The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself."