Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, “It will be good for you, my daughter, to go with the women who work for him, because in someone else’s field you might be harmed.” So Ruth stayed close to the women of Boaz to glean until the barley and wheat harvests were finished. And she lived with her mother-in-law. Ruth 2:22-21
Ruth returns to Naomi with stories of her day and food to eat. She recounts Boaz’s advice and Naomi repeats it…stay close to Boaz and the workers in his field. While gleaning was Jewish law, it could also be dangerous. Not everyone had the best intentions and Ruth was a foreigner in their land. By staying close to those who could be trusted, she had a better chance of being safe.
The same is true in our lives. There are people in our lives we should stay close to and those that we should probably put more distance between us and them.
Motivational speaker, Jim Rohn, says, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” And whether or not this is true, one thing is for certain…the people you hang out with influence and impact you.
We need to be careful and intentional about who we “stay close” to. People who lift us up instead of tearing us down. People who will tell us the truth, even when it is HARD, rather than those who just say what we want to hear. People who will draw us close to God, rather than those that will pull us away. People who have our back and will help protect us, rather than those that will do us harm at the drop of a hat if it serves their purposes.
At the same time, we need to be those people to our friends. We need to be the kind of person people seek out to stay close to.
Questions: Are there people in your life that are doing more damage to your character and your walk with God than helping it? If so, how can you create some distance? Are there people you want to seek out or get to know better that you would like to “stay close” to? What steps can you take to have more people like this in your life?