The Five Most Important People in Your Life

The motivational speaker Jim Rohn once said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” As a self-help guru and someone who writes and speaks on motivation and success, his emphasis is on surrounding yourself with successful people who will push you onwards and upwards rather than drag you down.

Personally, when I think of motivational speakers, the first thing that comes to mind is Matt Foley, more than the type of success-oriented clap trap that most motivational speakers are pushing. However, I do think there is some validity to this point, but rather than limiting it to people, I think it would be better to say we are the average of the five biggest influences that we allow to dominate our lives.

More and more, people are spending less time interacting with other people in any real or meaningful ways. Unless your job is customer service, sales, ministry or social services, you probably spend more time in front of things (including devices) than you do in front of people. So rather than simply asking who are the 5 people who you spend the most time with, it is probably better to ask, what are the five people/things in my life that dominate my time, thoughts and emotions more than anything else. Here is a list of some possible answers for that question:

  • My family — for most of us who live with our family, this will be the #1 influence in our lives. Hopefully, this is a positive influence and you have healthy family relationships, but unfortunately many people find themselves in abusive, unhealthy families. Recognizing how powerful our family relationships are should motivate us to invest heavily in developing healthy or more healthy marriages and interactions with our family members overall. Your mental stability and emotional well-being is heavily intertwined with this area.

There are other choices, but this covers most of the main areas of influence. So, what are your top five influences? Are they positive or negative? Do you want to become like the people and things that dominate your time?

Evaluating Influences from God’s Word

The Bible talks frequently about this subject because God knows the impact of time invested. He knows that we are being discipled by the way we spend our time and the people and information that flows into our lives. Here are a few of the verses that we can use to evaluate whether these are the best disciplers for keeping our lives pointed in the right direction.

  • Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” — 1 Corinthians 15:33 — Just look at the things that Paul wrote to the Corinthian Church in his two long letters found in the New Testament and you can see they were filled with problems. Corinth was a pagan city and much of the church came from a background that was steeped in immorality. This verse points to the truth that even if you have good character, you can be corrupted by the wrong sort of influences. Bad company can even be found in the church. Hanging out with those who are angry, bitter, divisive or gossipy will have an impact on us.

God loves you and desires for you to find true joy in Him and the world He created. He has communicated with us through His Word a framework for reality and through that influence, we can bind our lives to the Truth to live a life that is filled with fewer regrets and more joy. That is a life that every follower of Christ should want, but we frequently derail ourselves by choosing to become the average of influences that when you look at it in the scope of the greater picture, are below average at best.

Originally published at on May 24, 2022.



Chad Hensley grew up in the great state of Oklahoma and attended the University of Oklahoma where he received a BA in English Literature in 1993.

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Chad Hensley

Chad Hensley grew up in the great state of Oklahoma and attended the University of Oklahoma where he received a BA in English Literature in 1993.