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08 Jan
2013

Posted By: dramashare Comments: 0

Who Are You With?

I heard a very interesting quote a while back, I don’t know whose quote this is, but it simply won’t leave my mind.

“Don’t tell me who you are, tell me who you are with and that will tell me who you are.”

When I first heard that quote I struggled with it, a lot.

Is it an unfair accusation?

Is it all about guilt by association?

I mean, so I am with someone, does that make me as bad, or as good, as they are?

“Don’t tell me who you are, tell me who you are with and that will tell me who you are.”

Does that mean I have to avoid those who are perceived to be from the wrong side of the tracks?

Does it mean that I gotta be exclusively and constantly with folks from the church, form my own little Christian clique, even if I don’t much like being with some of them?

I mean, didn’t Jesus himself hang out with the dregs of society: the tax collectors, the thieves, the prostitutes?

I’ve got this friend, he’s about as far removed from Christianity as you can get . . Fact is, as close as he gets to Christ is his very frequent string of profanity. But, fact is, I like this guy . .  a lot. And I love to hang with him. He is my friend. I always say he would make an awesome Christian, but from all appearances that is simply not gonna happen. . . But I like him, OK?

“Don’t tell me who you are, tell me who you are with and that will tell me who you are.”

I mean I should be able to be with whoever I want to be with, right?

Besides, maybe with me being with these guys I can be a witness to them, where they are at.

Having been in business for over 50 years I found out that the fact is business doesn’t always happen in churchy locations. Whether it should or not, a lot of business happens after office hours in a bar. As a lifelong teetotaller this I found unpleasant. But I also found it reality.

As a young business man I found this happening more and more frequently. And I found that I was feeling less and less uncomfortable in this situation. After all, to the casual eye my glass of coke really didn’t look a lot different from the rye and coke in front of my associates.

Then one day a person from church who I knew only slightly walked into the bar where I and some associates were seated, drinking our usual. And when this person saw me he stopped in his tracks, turned and walked out of the bar. I never saw this man again. So I can’t know whether my being there made him think twice about coming to the bar for a drink, or whether my being there caused him to, (falsely in this case), come to the conclusion that I was simply a Sunday Christian.

But this incident made a lifelong change in my being in a bar on business. It didn’t stop me from going to business events in bars, (when it was absolutely necessary), but from that day on I refused to have a soft drink but rather ordered coffee, there would be no mistaking that.

“Don’t tell me who you are, tell me who you are with and that will tell me who you are.”

So maybe, even though we don’t avoid them, we have to be careful who we are with, and why we are with them.

Maybe it also could be:

“Don’t tell me who you are, tell me where you are, and that will tell me who you are.”

Or perhaps it oughta be a personal kind of thing for self evaluation:

“Don’t let me tell myself who I am, let me constantly evaluate the reasons behind who Iam with, where I am, and why I have chosen to do these things, and that will tell me the person that I am.”

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