Friday, October 25, 2013
“GUILTY BY ASSOCIATION”
I have been reading my devotions this morning and came across something all to easily taken for granted. Our association with others. So many times we place ourselves in relationships and friendships that can be detrimental to our "spiritual health". We need to be vigilant as to who we let influence our actions and ways of thinking. Their actions can color our actions and our way of thinking. If we are around people who are negative, then eventually we ourselves will have a tainted way of looking at things. If we are around people who are godly and uplifting then we will be godly and uplifting toward others.
In today’s time, we need to be ESPECIALLY CAREFUL of the people we allow in our lives and especially to influence our thinking. It might start off as something innocent, we may enjoy this person who is fun loving and friendly, but as we get to know them a little better and are around them more, we tend to take on their personalities as well.
When we sit in church, we hear a lot about "not conforming to the ways of the "world", but the thing is we have to be careful even in our church setting. There are people who attend church who are what I call "pew sitters". They come, but that is the extent of it. They don't walk the walk or talk the talk, OUTSIDE the four walls of the church. That is not a person we want to be influenced by, or get spiritual advice from. We, ourselves need to get into the Word of God, and if the way these people act do not align with what God teaches us to do, then we need to be cordial, but not socialize with them, or at least be aware of their actions so as not to adopt them into our own personalities.
For example, years ago, before I developed my relationship with God, I had a co-worker that I befriended, and we started spending a lot of time together. When we weren’t working, we were at each other’s houses. That is until a problem arose. My husband told me he didn’t appreciate the way I was starting to act and talk to him. For some reason, I tended to gravitate toward bossy and overbearing people. I am definitely a “follower” and not a leader, but I didn’t realize that I had started taking on her ways, and it was definitely affecting my marriage. When I was apprised of this by my husband, I cut our friendship short. Not completely, but I didn’t socialize with her as much and became more conscious of allowing my own personality to come out again, which definitely made my husband a much happier man.
This advice goes as well for my sisters and brothers in church. I know that sounds harsh, because we should love everyone. I’m not saying we can’t be friends with all, just be careful that you stay “in tune” with yourself. Make sure that if you are looking for advice whether it be spiritual or not, that you gravitate toward people that you KNOW to be godly, those that know the Word of God and won’t steer you in a carnal way.
I am the type of person, if someone asks me for advice, I will tell them, “this is my personal opinion, but I will check into it more fully. Then I will research it in God’s Word, and/or call my friend who had studied His Word most of her life, and is a true faithful Woman of God. I use that term because even though I “now” consider myself to be a true Christian, I don’t know God’s Word well enough to be able to quote scripture and verse. My friend has read her Bible enough and studied enough to find what I am looking for in a matter of just a couple of minutes.
Those are the type of people we want to surround ourselves with. Uplifting, precious people of God who you KNOW will not steer you wrong.
If we “hang around” with people who are unsaved, or people who may have even been saved at one time but don’t “walk the walk” or “talk the talk”, we run the risk of adopting their ways, and that will not get us to the “Streets of Gold”.
My Devotional spoke of a young woman who came into contact with people where she worked who in her words “were scarcely saved”. By constantly looking at their unfaithfulness and their flaws, she herself became downhearted and lost her zeal for God.
John 7:17 NIV says “Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own”.
He emphasized the exercise of the will, not the influence of emotions. We need to concentrate on what WE are doing for the Kingdom of God, and not worry about what others are not doing.
If we are “true” Christians, then we will be about “our Father’s Business” and do His will, which is to LIVE FOR HIM. Do not let others “color your perception” of what being a true Christian is. Being a true Christian is NOT just attending church on Sundays and Wednesdays. It is that plus worshipping God outside of those four walls. We must show our love for God outside in the “world” by being true to Him, not conforming to the “world’s” way of thinking.
Oops! I thinking I’m getting into another post! LOL! I’ll save that for another day. Anyway, just remember to evaluate very closely the people you come in contact with and choose carefully those who you want to be close to and from whom you gain your knowledge. Always ask yourself, “would they act this way if they were with Jesus”? If not, then think twice as to whether you want to be around them.
Have a Wonderful Day and May God Bless!