Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
I have heard it said that a great measure of who you are is a combination of the books you read and the company you keep. I view the books one reads and the company one keeps as being one in the same. When you read, you “keep company” with that author for the duration of the reading. In this media saturated society in which we live, I believe this statement can be expanded to include “company kept” as those to whom you view on television, the computer screen, and the big theatre screen.
Who or what do you want to be one year from now? Do you want to be a bumbling idiot? If so, spend your entire year wasted away in front of your infernal television set or at play with your video game console. Do you want to be an unfaithful husband or absentee father? Squander your time away watching internet pornography or despicable movies with your DVD player. Do you want to be an expert at rattling off sports stats while not even truly knowing the family members who live in your home? Then spend all day Saturday and Sunday staring at the screen watching modern day gladiators battle it out on the sporting field.
There are several historical figures with whom I would love to become more like over the course of next year. There are several living individuals who I admire as well. The number one personality who meets both of these criteria is the Lord Jesus Christ. By spending time in His Word over the course of 2007, I hope to be much more like him than I am now by the time this year ends. Other historical figures that I would like to emulate include Charles Spurgeon, Captain John Smith, George Washington, Elias Boudinot, St. Augustine, and A.W. Pink. I am learning more about Mr. Smith and Mr. Boudinot through the ministry of Vision Forum. This brings me to some of the living individuals whom I would like to identify with. Mr. Doug Phillips has contributed so much to my life through his recorded messages. Another of Vision Forum’s regular speakers, Geoff Botkin has really spoken into my life over the past year. I hope to continue that influence in 2007. I rejoice in the friendships of the men at our church who are leading their families well. Their company helps to keep me accountable to lead my family with the excellence that they are so aptly exampling. Lastly, but certainly not least, I want to be more like my precious bride, Sheri. Her patience with the children never ceases to amaze me. Her caring attention to the needs of others is a constant reminder of what a true Christian should be.
So, my plan to bring this about is to spend actual time with those living individuals whenever possible. Where not possible to personally visit, at least on a regular basis, I will continue to listen to these men either recorded or in person. My reading goals for 2007 are to read the Bible through in one year with my new Geneva Bible translation I received in December. I also want to read the Jamestown Narratives, George Washington’s Indispensable Men, Stories of the Old Dominion, Confessions of St. Augustine, City of God, and A.W. Pink’s Studies in the Scriptures (a monthly reprint distributed by the Chapel Library at the Mt. Zion School of Ministry).
People are sometimes surprised to learn that we don’t have a television. My reply is that I just don’t have time to waste in such trivial matters. I barely have the time I need to read the books I want to read and visit the people I want to visit with. Why would I waste my precious time with such vulgar time wasters? On those rare occasions when I need to view a DVD, like when watching my monthly subscription to LifeTalk (http://www.lifedynamics.com), the computer fulfills this role just fine.
So, brothers, who will you be in 2008? Surround yourself with men of excellent character, both living and dead, and you will be amazed at the transformation that will happen in your life over the course of a year.