Have you ever thought about why certain people stay in your life and why others have gone?
Go back to your childhood and think about the friends you had at that time. Remember how much fun you had together, the laughs you shared … times you thought would last forever. But then life changed and caused separation and some of those friendships ended. You may still have some of those people in your life but probably not all of them.
As life goes on, we meet new people and make new friends. We meet them at school and during church activities, jobs, family gatherings and even through other friends, and we tend to surround ourselves with people that we have the most in common with. But our interests can change and life situations will change over time and the cycle of new friendships continue. People come in and out of our lives often. They may disappear from us, but they are still there somewhere, just doing different things with other people.
Those people, those friends — the ones we knew before — do we ever stop to think about what differences we made in their lives when they were with us? Make no mistake, we are an influence in everyone’s life, whether good or bad. We can’t go back and redo history, but we can think about the people in our lives today.
Let’s not take for granted the people we have in our lives today, because you never know who will still be there a year or six months from now.
So what can we do differently to enhance the lives of the people around us that we might not have done before?
Love them well. Christ came to give us hope and a new beginning (Isa. 43:18-19). We can do the same for the people in our lives. Listen to them when they need to vent, share their joys and pain. Make their load lighter and their day brighter.
Give encouragement. Don’t ever let the people in your life think they are alone. Let them know you are always on their side even when no one else seems to be (Rom. 15:5).
Plant a seed. Whether the people in your life are believers or not, you can always plant a seed. Show them the joy that comes with a relationship with God. Do this by example, not just by words (Eph. 5:1-2). Strive to have a closer relationship with God so you can be what the people in your life need to see. And you’ll be better for it too.
And if it just so happens that the people in your life today slip away to other friendships because of life situations, they will always remember the difference you made in their life. Don’t let anyone that crosses your path ever be the same. Jesus didn’t!
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another— and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24–25)