When you think of the word ‘quality’, what comes to mind for you? I think of concepts like value, excellence, worth, weightiness and the like. These words all describe positive or desirable characteristics. I easily apply the concept of quality to the things in my life that I want to acquire. What I am really saying is that I desire ‘high or good’ quality in the things that surround me.
It is the same for the people in my life. I want to be in healthy relationships with people of substance that can help me reach my goals in life. It is far more difficult to push through life’s issues when the preponderance of my acquaintances are always self-destructing from bad choices. I am not advocating avoiding all these people. God often appoints us to enter into the lives of hurting people to be salt and light. But I must be careful when choosing my closest friends.
When it comes to choosing a life partner I want to be particularly diligent. No other decision will affect me as completely as the person I marry (at least in this life). That is why Nan & I encourage dating people to take their time and do the critical preliminary work before making a permanent commitment.
So how do I locate these quality people?
I must attract them. And the way I attract them is by being the kind of person that I desire to have in my life. After all, birds of a feather do flock together. Over the years I have had to eliminate people from my life that were not good for me. It is never easy, often painful to leave these relationships. But I will be identified by the people that I choose to associate with.
Few of us would probably think that we are not a person of quality, yet it’s probable that all of us could use a good “housecleaning” time to time. Some of us might even need a full remodel – but one from the inside out, not just patching and painting the exterior.
Of course what we are talking about is character.
I really struggle to tell the “most honest version” at times. I love to dress up my flaws in such a way as to present myself in the best light. But I am really messing with my character. I love comfort, but often preserving my character means being uncomfortable, taking the hits.
What are the qualities that you most value in a person? Are they those deep characterological traits that are enduring, or are you more concerned with superficialities and “window dressing”? As a youngster I was much more apt to chase outward beauty, the trappings of success, and things with temporary value. Now, not so much.
As John Ortberg says in a book of the same title; (referring to our life) “When the game is over, it all goes back in the box.”
The question is – will we cheat our way through the game with partners of the same mindset, or play with integrity, no matter the outcome.
Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.