Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” – 1st Corinthians 15:33
Who am I in Christ? l am linked to those with whom I associate.
It’s true. How many times growing up did our parents stress this fact to us? Therefore, I wasn’t allowed to hang out with certain individuals. Those kids that were known for being in trouble, or pushing limits: they were not accessible to me. Why? Not because I was one who was perpetually on the wrong side of a decision, but because my parents feared that too much time with the risk takers would lead me there.
I see the wisdom in that. The more I am exposed to ideas or circumstances, the more the lines between good and detrimental blur. Our culture has a great way of engulfing us in ideas or environments that make us numb to the realities of declining values in our midst.
That is why I have become very intentional over the past few years about the people that I consider friends. Not acquaintances, but the people that get my time. As a busy wife, mother, and servant, I don’t have much free time. And what little time I can devote to others outside my family needs to be of high worth.
In times past, my friendship criteria has been pretty much based upon whether I enjoy the person’s company or not. And unfortunately, even some relationships in the church, have led me to become a person more concerned with gossip, reality tv and parties. There was nothing at all about these relationships that helped me grow into the person that God created me to be. Don’t get me wrong. My friends were all good people. They cared about me alot and I cared about them. But they just weren’t taking me where I knew I needed to go.
For my own spiritual well-being, I have to surround myself with people that will lead me and encourage me to grow closer to Christ. I have to be around people that help me to be a thinker, and a worshiper. I can only surround myself with people that I trust to be truth – seekers, and are willing help me to be the same.
I am very much the people that I associate with. And I am proud of it. Those in my small group and my inner circle are people I can trust to keep me on the straight and narrow. And boy, do I need that. But even more than that, I can trust any one of them to be a true friend at any time and under any circumstance. That’s the added bonus I guess. I not only get the good boundaries, but lots of love and joy too. What a combination!
Two folks that greatly help me along my way are leaving today on a world-wide adventure. Dale and Kellie McIntyre, along with their sweet daughters, are embarking today on a several month journey to experience other parts of our world. I will miss all 4 of them greatly because they are family in every sense of the word. We will wait eagerly for their return in the spring and look forward to communications from their travels.
Would you pray with me for their safe journey?
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
In the name of the Savior we pray,