I was on Facebook the other day scrolling, seeing how my old friends were doing or what my family was up to. As I was doing so I came across a post with an interesting picture. I usually don’t stop much to read a post some has shared or from someone I’m not that close to but the picture caught my attention. It was a picture of some peaches in a bowl and one was covered in mold and the one immediately next to it, touching it, had one half covered in mold. So naturally, at the sight of rotten fruit, I read the caption too. It read “if you take a piece of rotten fruit and place it beside perfectly good fruit…what happens? The mold from the rotten fruit spreads over to the good fruit and both end up in bad condition.” Now I have no idea if this is actually true or just an inspirational post but there is something to be learned by the caption.
The post actually continues this by saying “so what happens when you surround yourself with people who don’t build you up? well…you become just like them.” I know this to be true from my own life. Growing up I was friends with a group of guys and they are not people I would say are bad people but some of the things did were not align with the life I wanted to live as a Christian. One of those things that had a influence on me and that did not build me up was their use of obscene language. So, because I spent so much time with them, the words they used became words I used for the first few years I knew them. It took a conscious choice to get away from that and it ultimately took the decision to stop spending time with them for me to not feel their way of living tempting me and trying to influence me. This has great implications in our lives today. It’s already easy enough to choose to live a life opposed to God. It’s often easier to sin than it is to not. For example, we’ve all quickly lied to our parents to get out of the punishment or the discipline that my come. It was easy and took no second thought. Now throw in people who openly do things like lie, steal, curse, etc. and it makes it almost second nature to live a life of sin, a life different from the life we’re trying to live.
Now, thinking as Christians, we must surround ourselves with those who are going to influence us in a positive manner. 1 Corinthians 15:33 says “Do not be deceived: ‘bad company ruins good morals.'” This verse both pushes us to surrounding us with good company and reminds us that even if we come into a relationship with someone with good morals, if their’s do not match ours then ours will be the one to crumble. 2 Corinthians 6:14 says “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness.” Again, Paul is pushing us to see that we need to be surrounding ourselves with those who believe like we do and who want to live a life like Christ just as we do. Now this does not mean we stop trying to bring those who live opposing lives into a relationship with Christ, we simply do not walk with them as they live that life and follow along. It’s clear that we need to surround ourselves with those who build others up. We need to surround ourselves with good fruit. So how can we do that today? As always I will end with a few questions for you to consider.
- Who in your life may be influencing your life in a negative way? What do you need to do to fix that?
- Are you building others up or is your life not reflecting Christ and leading others away?
- How can you live a more Christlike life today?