Tuesday, March 8, 2016
the company we keep
We know it's true. From a young age, we find ourselves being influenced by the people we spend time with. Sure, it's possible to be a good person, completely surrounded by evil. Noah is an example of that. But it's not the norm.
Normally, we are changed by the people we are with. This can be good or bad, obviously. If we spend lots of time with people who have no regard for God, then we find ourselves spiraling down. Bad behavior begins to look normal. Our thoughts begin to be "only evil, continually." We even find ourselves negatively influencing others in the group.
On the other hand, if we are surrounded by people who are striving to be better people, even if they're not Christians, we find ourselves being challenged to live better lives. If they ARE Christians, then we find ourselves being challenged to the highest level of all - loving others before ourselves.
Where do you find yourself today? If you are surrounded by people who are dragging you down, maybe it's time to change. But maybe you can't? What if it's your family that is dragging you down? Well, in that case you should pray. Ask God to show you how to follow His will, be salt and light in the place where you live, and depend on Him to lift you up, helping to bring others up with you.
But in most cases, we CAN choose the people we spend our lives with. We can find those who challenge us to live better. To be better people. To follow Jesus more closely.
And, for everyone, there are books. You can read the lives of saints. You can read Celebration of Discipline by Foster, who teaches you about the Christian disciplines that bring us closer to God. You can read Les Miserables by Hugo, which challenges us to find the good in others, and to embrace our own redemption. You can read the Bible, which will impart His grace directly into your life.
Wherever you are today, I pray that He will help you find people, whether in person or in books, who will inspire you to be the person that He created you to be. You'll never be satisfied until you become that person.
God, thanks for giving us others to help build us up. Please help us to find the ones who do.