“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” These wise words by Jim Rohn have echoed back and forth in conference presentations and across the internet in recent years.
If you walk with giants, then you start to see the world from their perspective. As you encounter problems, you start to view these problems from their higher angle rather than your own. However, if you walk with mice – people who are small minded, negative and full of complaints – you end up thinking like a mouse. In these people’s opinion, there is never enough cheese to go around. As a mouse, you are always watching for the trick, the trap to close and to find yourself caught out. Mice cannot see the solution, they are mostly fixated on the problem.
In contrast, giants see the problem in perspective. Their thinking is bigger and the solutions a lot more creative. Who are you sharing your life with? Who is speaking into your life? How much are you focused on that which is truly significant and valuable?
Standing with Almighty God
Look at the lighthouse above this blog post. Now, consider more closely at what else is represented. There is a smaller building next to the lighthouse. Most people see the lighthouse straight away as it stands tall and we understand what it represents.
Our focus is on the large lighthouse, rather than what is around it. Few people would bother with the small building. In a similar way, if we walk with Almighty God on this journey through life, we stand like the small building next to the lighthouse. As we stand alongside God, we always stand tall as people see Him and not us in our smallness. Adjusting your positioning in this way will give you the confidence to continue to stand, and to think and act in a higher way.
My father (who was always devoted to Jesus Christ) often told me to stand tall, but I could never understand what he was really saying. I knew he did not mean that I must stand tall in pride – but then it dawned on me – he was guiding me to stand next to God.
The advantage of walking with giants is that it encourages vertical faith, as opposed to horizontal faith. Let me explain. Say you are wrongfully accused, then the need to defend and justify becomes very important. Imagine what Jesus thought as they hurled insults and threats upon Him?
Jesus could have responded in two different ways. He could have used His immense power to put the people in their place (responding horizontally, in the flesh). However, He chose to “entrust Himself to Him who judges justly” (responding vertically, in the spirit).
It requires great faith to respond to life’s challenges with a vertical faith. However, if we can do this, we will discover a level of power and wisdom that will be birthed from this experience that we never thought possible.
A Lesson from History
The great Christian reformer, Martin Luther, challenged the thinking of the church at the time. As he faced the might of the church, he must have felt small and insignificant. However, he knew that he was standing for something significant as he challenged error within the life of the church.
He, like the small building, was confident in the power of the lighthouse. This gave him courage. At the famous meeting termed the Diet of Worms in 1521, Luther famously declared: “Unless I am convicted of error by the testimony of Scripture or (since I put no trust in the unsupported authority of Pope or councils, since it is plain that they have often erred and often contradicted themselves) by manifest reasoning, I stand convicted by the Scriptures to which I have appealed, and my conscience is taken captive by God’s word, I cannot and will not recant anything, for to act against our conscience is neither safe for us, nor open to us. On this I take my stand. I can do no other. God help me.”
Martin Luther took a clear stand based on what he was reading in God’s Word. This bigger authority surpassed his own words.
We need to ensure we spend our time with giants and have their perspective, but even more so, stand tall with Almighty God. Indeed, James 4:8 promises us: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” We serve a big God and I would rather that people see Him than me.
About the Author: Dr Alan Louis is a third generation entrepreneur in a family with a 100-year business history. He devoted his life to Christianity as a child. Awarded a PhD in Commerce, is an Ultra Ironman Triathlete Gold medallist and was inducted in the IBC Hall of Fame for entrepreneurship. Internationally he has served on more than 100 private corporate boards, and has experienced the trials and successes of commerce for 3 decades.