“Gentle words bring life and health; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.” Proverbs 15:4
Before we can continue studying the importance of words, and how to become wise with our words, it is extremely important that we understand how big our surroundings can influence us.
If we honestly want to become men and women who represent Christ with our words,our actions, and our lives, then we must surround ourselves with other brothers and sisters who also want to represent Christ with their words, actions, and lives. Like Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:33, “Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.”
Remember a few days ago we talked about the speech of a fool vs. the speech of a wise man? Well if we are striving to be wise with our words yet we stay surrounded by those who are foolish in their speech, don’t you think after a while their foolishness will begin to rub off. YES (God’s word says so)
If we are around those who gossip all the time, we will find ourselves doing it too.
If we are around those who are negative, we too will begin to speak negatively.
If we are always hearing worldliness come from the mouths of our close friends, we to will begin to speak that way.
Read what Craig Groeschel says in his book “The Christian Atheist”
If you are surrounded by naysayers or others dangerous to your progress, ditch them. Surround yourself with new friends, good friends. Amy and I once realized that we were becoming prideful about our ministry, and increasingly critical about others. Every time we’d hang out with certain close friends, we’d find ourselves talking about how ineffective other ministries were. Our prideful attitude was growing. Our way is best. Everyone else is doing it wrong. We knew our attitudes were displeasing to God, but we continued becoming negative and critical of others. We tried to explain to our friends that we didn’t want to criticize others, but they didn’t get it. When we realized that we were allowing our friends to influence us negatively, we decided to gently distance ourselves. We started hanging around different friends. It may sound cruel, but “bad company corrupts good morals.” If you honestly want to change, surround yourself with people who will help, people who believe you can do it.
Makes sense doesn’t it? Can you relate?
Look at what Paul tells the church in Galatia, “But it takes only one wrong person among you to infect all the others-a little yeast spreads quickly through the whole batch of dough!” Galatians 5:9
Think about this with me. After God converted Saul to Paul who did Paul surround himself with, the same Pharisees as before?
After Jesus left and took His seat next to God, who did the disciples surround themselves with, each other or those who opposed Christ?
When you became a follower of Jesus Christ did you stay surrounded by the same people you hung out with before? If you have how is your relationship with Christ growing? Are they nourishing you spiritually?
What about a recovering alcoholic, do you think they stay surrounded by their drinking buddies?
Read this last comment made by a pastor at a church in Nashville.
There are basically two kinds of people that walk this earth, people who breathe life into you, and people who suck the life out of you. I made a decision years ago that while I want to minister to difficult people in my personal life I was going to choose to surround myself and my family with people who would breathe life into us.
Is your surroundings breathing life into you, or sucking the life out of you? If you answered the latter part than maybe it is time for you to change your surroundings?
Prayer: Jesus one of the first things You did was surround yourself with a group of men who believed in You. Thank You for showing us the importance of who we surround ourselves with. Help us to breathe life into others. Amen