Monday, April 27, 2015

Birds of a Feather

Birds of a feather flock together. We’ve all heard the phrase and know the meaning. The saying has been around for ages and is still used.  Why? Because there’s truth in it.

As far back as a young girl, I can remember my parents saying they didn’t want me hanging around certain people because they saw a change in my demeanor.  Of course, I didn’t notice anything different, but, then again, it’s more often people on the outside looking in that can give us a truth we don’t seem to recognize.

Have you ever noticed people who pair off at office parties?  Or, the different cliques at school? There are groups from the drama team to detention regulars and everything in between.  Why does this happen? Because people want to be with like-minded people.  We want to enjoy things with company. Is there anything wrong with having people around us to share good times with? Absolutely not. Friends are vital.  The problem lies when what others are doing/saying isn’t good for us. Bad company corrupts good morals. (1 Corinthians 15:33)

Bottom line: We become who we hang around so choose wisely. Granted, we must be held accountable for our own decisions and actions.  We were built with a brain (that most of us use). However, the more time we spend with anyone, the more their thoughts, attitudes and beliefs rub off on us.  

Sometimes we become oblivious to the influence those around us have in our own lives, as mentioned earlier.  Thus, making it a good time to take inventory of those in our circle. Not everyone has our best interest at heart. As a matter of fact, misery loves company. Don’t believe every spirit, but test them to see whether they are from God. (1 John 4:1) We can begin by asking ourselves:

  • Do our friends/loved ones stimulate me to love and good deeds? (Hebrews 10:24)
  • Do they offer wise counsel? (Proverbs 27:9)
  • Do they encourage, build up and challenge me to be a better person? (1 Thessalonians 5:11, Proverbs 27:17)
  • Are they trustworthy and faithful? (Proverbs 27: 5-6)
For Christians, our goal is to become more like Christ.  That would be extremely difficult to do if we are surrounded by people who don’t have that same intent. By taking a hard look at the people closest to us; we can determine if there are those we need to distance ourselves from. Does all of this mean we aren’t to befriend non-Christians? No! Jesus himself hung out with tax collectors and prostitutes. He showed them love and how they could find forgiveness and be set free.  We Christians are called to do the same. However, we must use caution so we don’t fall victim to things of this world. 

No matter who we have around us, there is no better friend than Jesus. There’s an old hymn that says: “What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?” (paraphrased)  He should be our best friend whom we trust and rely on.  However, we need people beside us to spur us on as we navigate through this life. If we are lacking Christ centered friendships, take it to The Lord in prayer.  He will bring the people He knows we need and who needs us.  By doing so, we can ensure that our flock is flying in the right direction.

Is there anyone close to you that is pulling you further from God? If so, how can you back away in a loving manner?

Do you have accountability partners and friends pointing you to God? If not, what can you do to bring those people into your life?

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