“Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (II Corinthians 5:17)
Lately I have begun to reconsider some of my friendships. I wonder if particular friends are in my life for a reason, if I am in theirs for a reason or, if God is asking me to step apart and move forward. It’s very confusing and I don’t have the answer. I have some very good friends who are not believers in Jesus. Some are part of my day to day life while others are part of my extended support system. They all know my identity as a Christian and many of them also know my failings.
When I was a teenager in youth group, I remember the youth leaders constantly warning us about choosing to maintain a healthy environment in all aspects of my life. I brushed these warnings off then and now I wonder if I ever really got the message. For example, I not only listen to Christian music because it is available to me but also because I enjoy it. I love worshipping. I also enjoy hearing my kids singing praise songs. Normally, I don’t have to worry about what they are listening to and what other things might be filling their minds. But this week, on the way to Banff, Alberta I didn’t have Christian music for any of the journey. So instead, I chose to listen to some country. As I listened, I felt a pull on my spirit. By the time I had gotten to my destination, my mind had wandered to many places that it should not. This is what started me thinking.
The people I surround myself with, whether I intend them to be or not, will influence me. The music I listen to will speak to my emotional, mental and spiritual well being. The media I choose to use/watch will enter into my subconscious. Our brains are designed to absorb and disperse the information it receives. Some of the information will be useful whereby we can learn, and are thus edified. Others will produce an effect that impacts us negatively. However, God did not create us to become a pawn within the world. Rather, He made us so that we could be overcomers. In the same way, He intended for us to use our bodies wisely.
As I went through my list of friends — both long-term and short-term — I realized that some friends would be much harder than others to cut ties with. I have also believed that Jesus intended for His sons and daughters to be a light to the world. A Jesus light to those sons and daughters who are still spiritually yearning and have not found their way home. At least not as of yet. Moreover, I know this is true and I have used this reasoning plenty of times in the past as a rationale for keeping in touch with people. BUT, even though these people do need His light shining in their souls, God may not have planned to use me as the catalyst for bringing them to Him. In this context, God sometimes wants us to let go and move on. I don’t have all the reasons figured out but I know that in this case, His plan is best.
We are what we eat … you’ve heard that saying. Well here is a new one. We are what we surround ourselves with.
1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”