“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.” — Psalms 1:1-2
Has someone older and wiser than you ever mentioned the phrase: “Bad company corrupts good character.” Or , “You are who you hang with.” Or the good old ” One bad apple spoils the whole bunch.”? I’m sure the answer to that is yes, because we’ve all seen it happen. Good girl starts hovering around rebellious squad to impress boy…. And suddenly good girl doesn’t know how to be good anymore. This happens because the behavior of an individual has a tendency to change once they succumb to the influence of others.
I personally struggled with this dilemma a lot back in high school. I was a social butterfly, a people enthusiast, and a crowd pleaser all at the same time. So you can imagine how I ping-ponged from group, to clique, to squad, in the school cafeteria. Part of the trend back in my day was wearing name brand/designer labels. Nike, Jordan, Reebok, Steve Madden, Ugg, and so on. And if you weren’t wearing any of the above labels in some capacity, you were deemed lame and unfashionable and thus could not be considered part of the ‘in’ crowd. Ridiculous, right?
Anyways there would be certain occasions where I’d find myself hanging amongst the ‘in’ crowd, particularly lunchtime. And what they would spend their lunchtime doing is criticizing the clothing of people who walked by. Then, because I was around them so often, their language and mannerisms started to rub off on me. And before I knew it, I was criticizing people’s way of dress right along with them.
Thankfully, God intervened and made me realize that what I was doing wasn’t right and I was able to eventually separate myself from them and find more positive people to be around.
It’s been about 5 years since then and I can testify that the Lord has done a tremendous job of weeding people out of my life that weren’t helping me grow. He has done a marvelous work in me where I no longer put up with bullying, criticism, or negativity towards other people no matter who I happen to be with. To God be the glory!
Once you come to know the Lord, it’s important to realize that the enemy wants to eliminate your chances of actually making it into heaven. One of the chief ways he does that is by bringing back the negative influences from your past. He’s very sneaky about the way that he does it too. He will decorate sin to make it look harmless. And before you know it, you’ve fallen and feel discouraged about trying to walk the Christian walk again. We must not allow ourselves to be negatively influenced by those that do not have a Godly focus. Don’t dwell in places where sinners dwell with the intent of sinning maliciously. And don’t sit at the popular kids’ table making fun of other kids because of how they dress 😉 . But instead, take delight in studying the Word of God, and sink your teeth into its truth.
This practice of staying away from negative influences and getting deep into God’s word isn’t always the easiest thing to do, which is why the bible actually encourages us to do it with people who’ll hold you accountable. The second book of Timothy chapter 2 verse 22 makes this suggestion more of a command by saying:
“Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”
The pictures that compliment this post are colorful snapshots of this principle in action. The two young women beside me have chosen to call upon the name of Lord with a sincere heart. It is my mission to pursue and demonstrate the attributes of righteousness, faith, love, peace, and purity with them every single day. Not Just Sunday.