We all have a circle of people that surround us. And like I have said before, we are influenced by those people. We have people in our lives who make us laugh. There are those who you know will drop anything they are doing and be there for you. There are those who you don't see often but still make an impression on you that makes you smile. We have those who always know the right thing to say and know just when to say it. There are those people who speak positive things over your life and make you feel like you are the best person who ever lived. I am thankful for those people. And I am grateful for the friends who give it to me straight even when it is not my favorite thing to hear. But I know their heart and I know they do it in love.
But on the other hand we all have those who know how to knock us down. Those who always want to tear you down the further you climb. There are the "Debbie Downers" and the "one-uppers" too. You know who I am talking about. I have always struggled in this area because I never understood how people could be so mean and so hurtful. I have come to realize over the years that I just don't need to spend too much time with them but to be thankful for their influence in my life. I have made a determination to just smile and distance myself over time. I know that those people have taught me valuable lessons in life. They make me want to strive to be a better person. I know I have to forgive and move on because I have hurt people in my life too. I need the Lord's forgiveness and most of all His guidance to do better.
Now I know you have been where I have been. Your kid may excel in one area and someone else wants to point out there flaws. Your finances may look great to someone and they judge you but they don't know how much you have struggled to get there. You may be on top in one area but feel you are that bottom of every other area of your life. You may look the picture of health but people don't know that your body aches every morning but you are still determined to keep getting up. I know friends who don't always get all the credit they deserve but they shine as bright as the sun because their hearts are so big. I know people who society has written off and yet God still has a plan for them. Through all of this I have learned that everyone has an opinion and it is not always a good one. The key is to not let those opinions define you. Know who you are in the Lord.
I do know that God's opinion of me is always positive and it is always uplifting. Yes I am convicted when I need to be and he makes my crooked paths straight when I veer off in the wrong direction. Be assured that "every good and perfect gift is from above." James 1:17 He has placed his people in my path over and over at just the right time to remind me that He is with me at all times. Only He knows where I have walked and where I am going. I will continue to strive to be a better person and I will teach my kids to do the same.
Though I don't surround myself with people who constantly bring me down I will strive to be more forgiving when they do. It is kind of like the rain this morning, we know we need the rain but it puts a damper on our plans. Knowing the rain won't last forever, makes us appreciate the sunshine even more. I am thankful for those who bring sunshine to my life. I hope that I bring some rays to your lives too!