Choose Your Friends Wisely

Your friends and associates define you. If you surround yourself with wise, thoughtful people, you too will remain or become wise, following God’s Word to govern you life. If you surround yourself with fools, you too will remain or become a fool.

~ Lisa Blair

This scripture is easily overlooked. Why, because we do not unpack it to determine what we are being warned about. That’s right, God is warning us to choose wisely. As we grow up, most of us have aligned ourselves with people (a person) that changes the very atmosphere around us. Equate people with atmospheric pressure. When the pressure is light, all goes well, when it is heavy, we jeopardize our character. We begin to act in a manner unbecoming to our nature.

Your friends and associates define you. If you surround yourself with wise, thoughtful people, you too will remain or become wise, following God’s Word to govern you life. If you surround yourself with fools, you too will remain or become a fool, following man’s word to govern your life. You get caught up in the details of the relationship and you no longer assess the damage it is causing you.

As adults, many of us align with the wrong people for any number of reasons. Sometime during the relationship we realize that it is unhealthy. It is not always unhealthy because the person is bad, it may be that their trajectory is different than yours, their values do not naturally align with yours, thus causing the relationship to feel forced. It is like atmospheric pressure.If the atmospheric pressure is constraining, you feel the weight of it, and you are always on edge around them, this is a warning sign. Alert, alert, you are under attack by carnal demons. It is time to refer back to this verse and change your course, step out of the friendship, the group, the clic, the environment that leads to the heavy atmospheric pressure weighing down on you. Run away, change your relationships that hamper your walk with God.

Photo – BecomeNomad

The following is an excerpt of Day Two, Guardrails: Avoiding Regrets In Your Life. Andy Stanley, North Point Ministries, Bible.com

Our greatest regrets are usually connected with people we’ve considered friends. Maybe yours is connected to a colleague, a classmate, or an ex-boyfriend. Maybe it’s a group of friends that, in hindsight, you wish you’d never met. Even if you were alone, chances are your greatest regret somehow grew out of a relationship. 

These ill-fated friendships have taught us (often the hard way) that our futures are impacted by the people we spend time with. This is why we need relational guardrails. 

Solomon, one of the wisest men who ever lived, wrote: “Walk with the wise and become wise . . .” In other words, wisdom is contagious. Do life with the wise and, over time, you’ll become wise. It happens automatically.

And there’s a second part: “. . . for a companion of fools suffers harm.” When you hang out with a fool, you get caught up in the consequences of their bad decisions. You catch the shrapnel. Your reputation is ruined like his. You get fired like her. You aren’t invited next time either. 

Relational guardrails help us avoid “foolishness fallout.” 

So, as you think about your friendships, here are three guardrails to consider. When one of these things occurs, let it light up your conscience before you suffer harm.

1. You catch yourself pretending to be someone other than who you really are.

2. Something that’s never been a temptation before is now something you’re considering. 

3. You hope the people you care about don’t know your whereabouts.

Remember, guardrails aren’t meant to declare something (or someone) right or wrong. They are meant to guide you back toward wisdom. So, are any of your friendships veering into the danger zone? Which guardrail are you bumping up against and what are you going to do about it?

The most important thing we can do in life is to continue our walk with God, anything that negatively impacts our relationship with the Lord should be shed. Wisdom is a gift, cherish it and hold it dear to your heart, consider it your guardrail.

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The Case of Burdens

The previous scripture we studied, ‘if you love your neighbor as you love yourself, states you are fulfilling God’s law’ (Galatians 5:14). It is further exemplified in Galatians 6:2, which states we are to bear one another’s burdens. Burdens are sins, challenges, and temptations. Bearing on another’s burdens does not mean that we much carry their burdens.

This scripture means that, as Christians, we should have sympathy for one another and support one another when they fall. This does not mean we should suffer for their trespasses. It is our duty to pray for their redemption in kindness and Godly love. Our support begins through prayer and then in other ways, if appropriate.

The previous scripture we studied, ‘if you love your neighbor as you love yourself, states you are fulfilling God’s law’ (Galatians 5:14). It is further exemplified in Galatians 6:2, which states we are to bear one another’s burdens. Burdens are sins, challenges, and temptations. Bearing on another’s burdens does not mean that we much carry their burdens.

This scripture means that, as Christians, we should have sympathy for one another and support one another when they fall. This does not mean we should suffer for their trespasses. It is our duty to pray for their redemption in kindness and Godly love. Our support begins through prayer and then in other ways, if appropriate.

Praying for those who are willfully harming others is not an easy task, nor is it easy to forgive those who have personally injured you in any way. It is not our nature to carry their burdens. Paul shares that, as Christians, we must support one another through prayer and not fall prey to Satan’s wiles through actions such as speaking and purposely condemning them, hating them, hoping the worst for them, and in any way attempting to tear them down through these means. We are to be sensitive to their plights, stand in love, and pray for their redemption and healing.

None of us is above sinning. All of us fall short of the glory of God. We are warned that we should not rejoice in others fall. Christ does not rejoice in our failings, and we should not enjoy another’s faults. In bearing another’s burdens, we are acknowledging that we to have burdens to bare and want Christ to carry ours as well as our neighbors.

Resources – Galatians 6:2, Studylight.org, Biblestudytools.com,enduringword.com
Images – Google Images

I am holding to the task of Resolving and Acting on the resolve to become a stronger Christian in the face of everyday life in 2019. Join me. Each step we take should bring us closer to Christ.

Thank you for reading my Posts. God Bless.