When I was a little girl I loved going to Arkansas to visit my mom for the summer. She lived in the country and it wasn’t unusual to find me fishing, tending the garden, catching fireflies, and feeding the pigs at any point during the day. I know, the girl who loves her heels, feeding pigs. 🙂 When I’d come home to Oklahoma my friends would always tease me for a few weeks because of my accent. It only took a couple weeks in Arkansas for me to add a little twang to my “y’alls.” The longer I remained in Arkansas, the more characteristics I displayed similar to the people by which I was surrounded.
I’ve seen my children change and adapt their behavior – good and bad – according to the friends they remain close to. I’ve seen my own friends and family members to the same. When I am around someone who is soft spoken, I speak softly as well. However, when I am around my friends with boisterous laughter, I laugh a little louder.
Seeing how much we adapt to our surroundings, it makes sense that Jesus would continually remind us in John 15 that “remaining in Him” is the way to go. In fact, he tells us to remain in Him 4 times in 8 verses. You think he really wanted us to understand how important it is? The more time we remain in His Word, the more we begin to think like Him. The more time we remain in conversation or prayer with Him, the more we begin to talk like Him. The more time we spend in fellowship or getting to know Him, the more we begin to act like Him. The more we combine our efforts to become closer to Him, the more we bear the same fruit as Him.