This morning, I took my grandkids for a walk. They are almost 3 and 5, and I only see them every few weeks, so their growth in so many ways always amazes me – especially their vocabularies. We talked about the word “difficult” this morning, and I told them to use it instead of saying “hard” when describing things that are challenging. And so then we had to talk about the word “challenging,” and what sorts of things are difficult. A little while later, they saw a lizard in a book, and Owen said it changes colors, so we talked about the word “camouflage,” and how the lizard, and other animals can make themselves look just like the environment they are in very quickly.
But so can people. In fact, it can even be said about me, as much as I hate to admit it.
If I get around someone complaining, pretty soon I start believing everything they are saying. Before you know it, I’ve copped a bad attitude that sounds pretty similar to theirs. When ugly words are quick to roll off of someone’s tongue, soon I find myself wanting to let the same words roll off my own tongue. Yuck. If I give ear to someone gossiping, talking about others behind their backs, it becomes easy for me to participate in the same thing.
The truth is, we become like, and start acting like, sounding like, and looking like those we choose to spend our time with. So spend it wisely like I did this weekend – around fun, pleasant, uplifting, encouraging, happy, cheerful, easy-to-be-around friends. And be sure to catch up with them long enough that the waitress is asking you to lift your feet to vacuum under them, and then letting you know that the restaurant closed… an hour ago.
I spent a lot of my younger years wanting to look prettier, be a little thinner, have the cutest hairstyle, and the most stylish outfits. Even Lyla danced around in her princess dress telling us to call her “Bell.” But the older I get, the more I hope to start looking like, acting like, sounding like, praying like, loving like, and serving like my friends Edna and Linda. I’ve got a whole new lesson to teach my grandkids on our next walk about the word “camouflage,” and who they spend their time with, and why…
“Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” Proverbs 13:20 ESV