Growing up my family influenced me greatly. I come from a family of seven kids with a hard-working, entrepreneurial father (my mom is awesome too). We went to church every Sunday and prayer meetings on Wednesday. When I was young my parents greatly influenced me. They guided me in a specific direction. They would influence me in which direction to go and even at times, force me to move in those directions. For the most part, when I look back they were teaching me and not manipulating me.
What we are taught affects what we believe and who we associate with and hold in high esteem. The rub is that we are called to do this for ourselves. We are called to make up our minds and not to allow others to manipulate us. What principles and foundation do you lean on to make your decisions? Do you have a foundation? And is it strong enough to stand on or can others simply knock you over because you are not strongly grounded?
“When I was a child I thought as a child acting as a child now that I am grown I have put away childish things.” Part of putting away childish things is making our own decisions. That means questioning and formulating our own conclusions and beliefs. Whenever we simply follow or agree with individuals because their speech seems to be in line with our politics/religion/beliefs, we are simply being manipulated by them.
I need to find teachers and mentors that will guide us. It is these people that will teach us what they have learned. Yeah we cannot simply accept what they say because they have experience or education. We need to question and test those we allow to influence us. The more we test and come to positive conclusions, the less we actually have to test. In the world today many people stand behind their degrees and experiences and believe that they have the right to influence us in any way that they please because of their position. Don’t fall into this trap and make sure that you are making your decisions based on your own foundation and research.
We don’t always need to be strongly opinionated on all topics, but we must know where we stand and what the lines are that we will not cross. This involves knowing what is fundamental to us and what is simply tercheriary. My parents are considered strongly religious. But I do not stand on my parents religion as my fundamental guiding principle. I stand on my own faith that I have accepted and made my own. What do you stand on?