It is impossible to live a life that is unaffected by other people. Your association/friends can take you closer to your God destiny or far away from it. Their attitudes and opinions, like pollen, blow into our lives, shaping our perspective and influencing our decisions.
The parable of weeds in Matthew 13:24-30 tells us about two types of seed: 1. Children of God (good seed) and 2. Sons of the evil one (weeds). Both were planted for one reason – to add influence. Many people do no realise the power of influence and therefore they are caught unawares by people who leave their seeds of slander, back biting, gripping, complaining, pride, gossiping, etc. They wake up one day all of a sudden and see their garden with all sorts of weeds that choke the Word of God in their lives.
Don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God (James 4:4).
The Bible also warns, Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’ (1 Corinthians 15:33).
On the other hand, when one godly person’s life sharpens another’s, it’s a good thing (Proverbs 27:17). It yields a harvest of mature fruit over time.
Don’t compromise your destiny for company
One principle that I have learnt with bad company is that it is progressive. If you are not careful you will be moving down a slippery path that ends in shame, disgrace, worthlessness, loneliness and every evil work. Psalm 1 hints at the three progression stage of association that leads to sin: It first begins with standing (casually listening), then walking (intentional listening) and finally sitting (living) with wickedness.
I like what Pastor Steven Furtick says, “Don’t compromise your destiny for company.”
The Bible says, “He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.” (Proverbs 13:20).
I am not talking about associating with the world alone, but even in terms of believers who claim to walk with God.
Here are some guidelines about who you should stick to, or stay away from:
Stay away from:
1. Fools, or the know-it-alls, who are wise in their own eyes. (Proverbs 1:7)
2. Gossipers, grumblers, drunkards, immoral, boasters, hot tempered men (1 Corinthians 5:11), (Proverbs 22:24,25).
3. Those who cause quarrels and fights, backbiters, unsubmissive to authorities (Romans 16:17)
4. Those who are lovers of the world (James 4:3,4).
5. Those who are lovers of pleasure, rather than lovers of God (2 Timothy 3:1-9)
1. Those who are wise. Not in the ways of the world, but in the knowledge of God’s Word (Proverbs 13:20).
2. Lovers of Jesus, those who boast in Jesus (1 Corinthians 8:3)
3. Visionaries, who have a vision for their lives, who have an action plan and who are pursuing it, who are not mere talkers, but doers. (Proverbs 29:18).
4. Those who are humble, hardworking and who never stop learning. (1 Peter 5:5)
5. Who correct and counsel you according to the Word of God (Proverbs 3:12)
I can think of a lot of examples in the Bible and in my life where I see people influenced or rather allowing themselves to be influenced by bad company and I can tell you that it will corrupt the good character (seed) placed in your life. It will always make the journey to your destiny harder, tougher, lengthier and you will also end up hurting many people along the way both family and friends. So watch out!
(By Pastor Derrick D’souza)
As a child I always used to love hearing my Mom tell me how much she loved me (I was the youngest sibling among five). I used to ask her the same question over and over again until I was confident she was not just saying it to make me happy. My simple question was Mom do you love me? And I normally asked it just after I messed up!
My Mom’s constant response was, “Son, I love you but I do not love the things you do!”
Almost always that response left me dejected and guilt ridden as I hated myself for not living up to the standard of my loving parents. I really do love my parents and oh how I wished I could have obeyed them fully. My sense of anger towards self was more because I did not want my parents to misunderstand my actions and use it as measurement of my love for them. This was primarily because the rest of my siblings were sober and nearly always made Mom and Dad proud. Hence just to make sure, I kept asking the question to see if there was a change in my Mom and Dad’s attitude towards me when I did wrong.
When I became a born again Christian, I began to feel the exact same emotions when I did wrong. The only difference here was that the negative feelings were compounded exponentially considering it was not Mom and Dad I was letting down, but God himself!!
I sought the Holy Spirit on this and He opened my eyes to some of the most beautiful verses in the Bible that has forever put to rest, every feeling of unrest and assured me that God’s love for me is not only more but much much more that I could ever imagine.
I call these “The How Much More Love Verses” . When God says ‘How much more’ you have got to use your imagination to understand what He is trying to say…. Please Meditate very closely on the below scriptures and you will be set free of every feeling of condemnation, guilt and sorrow in your walk with Jesus. I pray you will understand the full extent, God the Father, God the Son and the God the Holy Spirit went through to make sure you never feel unloved, lonely or condemned for a single second of your existence.