Have you ever wondered how the company you keep influences you? If you’re anything like me, you love to socialize, meet new people, and engage in their lives in an impactful way. I’ve always been drawn to people who are raw, unfiltered, and willing to share their unique experiences. I believe that connecting with people is a way of demonstrating our love for them. God encourages believers to love others as we love ourselves (Mark 12:31). But He also has a lot to say about the company you keep.
A Guide to picking your Friends
In the first Psalm, God draws your attention to the company you keep by explaining that we are blessed when we avoid close association with people who “[gossip], give wicked counsel, and [live life without God’s input].” But why does he advise us against being friends with these kinds of people?
Have you ever heard the adage “you are who your friends are?”
Well, God, being all-knowing, recognized that the company you keep strongly influences the way you think about life and the decisions you make.
Gossipping, giving ungodly advice, and living for ourselves are not things that followers of Jesus should be doing (Proverbs 16:28, Proverbs 11:13, 1 Corinthians 10:10). Therefore spending time with people who possess these qualities can be detrimental in our walk with Christ.
As believers, we have been instructed to love God FIRST and then love our neighbors as ourselves. Remember how I said that connecting with someone is a way of demonstrating your love? Likewise, reading God’s word is a way of connecting with and getting to know Him. He shares His values on life, relationships, and His mighty love within the pages of the bible. If we begin by getting to know God, He will transform us into the kind of person who can love others in the right way. And making close friendships with people who don’t share those same values will inevitably pull your focus away from Him and the work He is doing in your heart.
Encouragement in the Body of Christ
Our Heavenly Father knows that no one is perfect, and He definitely doesn’t want you to go on your journey of spiritual transformation alone. So, with what kind of people should we surround ourselves? When you came to faith, you were not adopted as an only child. You were adopted into a growing family of believers that you can now call brothers and sisters in Christ.
These people share your love for God and your values and are experiencing the same spiritual growing pains. Who better to confide in than someone who can understand your struggles in your walk of faith?
We are bonded by the knowledge that we are loved by an Omniscient, Omnipresent, and Omnipotent God. Our heavenly Father desires for us to be connected. He makes this clear when he created man and says it was not good for man to be alone (Gen. 2:18). So take heed and wisely choose the company you keep so that you may foster a more profound love for our creator and all that He has created.
**Written by Natasha Perreira**