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.
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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