On Monday of this week I posted the first of a two-part series on, “Who Are You Becoming?”
I postulated that there are two key questions to be asked:
- Who are you?
- Who are you becoming?
If you haven’t read the first post on “Who Are You Becoming,” may I suggest that you read it before reading this.
I started out by saying that who you are becoming will result from
- The way you chose your books
- The way you choose your friends
- The way your steward your finances
- The way you invest your time
On Monday I dealt with your books. Today let’s cover:
- Your friends
- Your finances
- Your time
---> Your Friends:
I’m inclined to believe that most people have fewer friends than they think they do. We have a lot of people we know, we have a lot of “Hi, how are you” people we bump into and a lot of relationships through work, neighborhood, church and other clubs or organizations to which we may belong. If you have 2-5 really good, close, dependable honest friends, you are doing well. I have discovered that men (I can’t speak for women) have very few friends. As a guy, if you have one or two friends you’re doing well.
I think we all need friends who accept us, believe in us, will be honest with us and will stick with us come what may. The kinds of “friends” you surround yourself with will be a large part of who you become.
I also believe that I should decide who my friends are and not let those who want to be my friend decide for me. You and I don’t have the time to invest in lots of friendships, so it’s essential to pick friends carefully. I want friends who inspire me, challenge me, encourage me and love me for who I am--not what they want or expect me to be. Your real friends who travel with you for years will have a great deal of influence on who you become. Bad friends will cause your downfall and good friends will help your soar. Choose wisely!
---> Your Finances:
I am still amazed at the number of young people I have been associated with who have (before the age of 35) managed to get themselves $30,000-$50,000 in debt due to school loans, credit card purchases and, generally, poor stewardship of the money the Lord allows them to have. Someone said, “Money talks and what it most often says is ‘goodbye’.” One easy principle is to spend less than you earn and do it for a long time. I can’t figure out why the U.S. government can’t get this straight. I learned early in my Christian experience to:
- Give 10%
- Save 10%
- Spend 80%
Over time we can decrease spending and increase giving and saving. The bottom line is people spend too much and give and save too little. Many people I know give little, save nothing and spend 110%. How do they spend 110%? By using a credit card. I won’t go into solutions here on how to get out and stay out of debt. There are numerous books and websites dealing with this. The most well-known finance guy out there is Dave Ramsey.
At the top of the list of things that lead to a troubled marriage (and, in some cases, divorce) is not agreeing on the stewardship of the family finances or spending yourselves into a deep financial hole that leads to endless arguments, dissension and discord in the family.
How you steward our finances will significantly determine who you become.
---> Your Time:
Last, but certainly not least, is how you invest your time. I often hear people say, “I would love to do this or that, but I just don’t have the time.” With all due respect, that is a bald-faced lie. Time is never the issue. Priorities are the issue. You have the same amount of time from the day you were born until the day you die. You have 168 hours a week, every week. You have the same amount of time as every person who has ever lived.
Some accomplish a great deal and make significant contributions with their time, while others fritter away their time and opportunities and wish for more time, which they will never get.
On my website, under the “Articles” tab, you will find something I wrote titled, “The Time of Your Life.” Please read this if you feel there's never enough time and you are constantly behind in getting things done which you think are important.
+ So, who are you becoming?
- Are you a reader of good books?
- Are you choosing good friends?
- Are you a good steward of your finances?
- Are you investing your time wisely?
As you turn the corner into 2014, in what area do you need to grow?