Who have you been hanging around? This question is one that we typically got asked by our parents when we were younger and have exhibited some form of behavior not acceptable in our home. My parents assumed that there was an outside influence at work and it was not working out in my favor. As concerned and observant parents... they were going to figure out the source of my unwelcomed transformation.
Spending large amounts of time with people increases the degree to which we adopt their behavior, attitudes, mannerisms and beliefs.
The life of Peter is an amazing one. In Acts 3 and 4 we see Peter and John performing some amazing miracles in Jesus's name. There was a healing of a lame beggar, and some very powerful teaching and preaching to large crowds.
Acts 4:13-17 says "When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say. So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin and then conferred together. “What are we going to do with these men?” they asked. “Everyone living in Jerusalem knows they have performed a notable sign, and we cannot deny it. But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn them to speak no longer to anyone in this name.”
The council... like observant parents, had noticed two things. Peter and John were ordinary men... unschooled, illiterate, laymen with no training, and common were all words used to describe these courageous men. The council noticed they had the boldness to speak openly and frankly. The council was astonished and concerned. The second thing they were aware of concerning Peter and John was their association. They knew they were companions of Jesus. They had been with him... influenced by him... taught by him. Their behavior was a result of spending time with Jesus... They had been transformed.
Friends... let us remember that formal education isn't a requirement of our faith, but spending time with the one we want to become like is! Who are you becoming? Who is influencing you? Can others tell you have spent time with Jesus? Let our prayer be that people see less of us and more of Jesus!