Are you hanging out with someone (or a crowd of someones) that isn’t good for you? If you’re having trouble answering this question, perhaps a different one would give you some perspective: How would you feel if your children grew up to be just like the people you choose to spend time with?
If you continue to hang out with these people (or a similar type), what kind of person will you be a year from now? Five years from now?
Will their influence help you become a better individual, spouse or parent? If you continue to spend time with these people, will it help you be effective at work, a blessing in your church or a leader in your community?
Psalm 1:1 (ESV) talks about avoiding ungodly influence:
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers.
Do you want to emulate the people you spend most of your time with? Or are they simply a means to momentarily escape from life’s pressures—at the expense of your integrity? Do they support your convictions and goals, or do they mock and ridicule what you know to be true and good?
Sometimes friends may offer wrong advice, even though they have good intentions. They might help you make up a story to tell your boss that covers up the real reason you missed work. Or encourage you to comfort yourself with an unwholesome activity. If we’re not careful, during a weak moment, any of us can give in to ungodly counsel.
Poor influence can be subtle. The more we listen to dishonorable advice and take part in harmful activities, the more our thinking becomes clouded. The next thing we know, our desires and goals derail. Rather than feeling blessed, as our verse mentions, we feel regret and disappointment. Not only about the way our life is going but also in ourselves.
This doesn’t have to be the end of our story. Beginning today, with God’s help, we can choose better friends. If this is an area you need help with . . .
- Consider befriending someone you respect at church.
- Or become a volunteer at Habitat for Humanity or some other worthwhile organization.
By spending time with people you admire, you’ll form solid, healthy friendships with people you’d be proud to emulate—and pleased to have your children emulate.
What about you?
I’d love to hear your thoughts about this post. (Others might also benefit from your comment.)
- Is it time to reconsider the type of people you choose to spend most of your time with?
- Is it time for us to consider what kind of friend (influence) we are to others?
If you’re reading by email, CLICK HERE to visit Today Can Be Different online and leave a comment. If you would like to subscribe to this blog and receive the most recent post to your inbox, see sidebar! There’s no charge for this service. AND, I’d be tickled if you would consider sharing this post.