Recently, in order to encourage both myself and someone else to be in the Word daily, we have sought to read one chapter from Proverbs that corresponds with the day of the month (that way you don’t forget where you left off). Of course, I could speak of a multitude of things that I have read thus far, but one theme kind of stood out to me and is noted in these verses, “Don’t be friends with a person who becomes angry easily. Don’t go near a person who becomes mad fast. If you do, you may learn to be like him. Then you will have the same troubles he has” (Proverbs 22:24-25, ETRV). When it comes to growth, spiritual growth in Christ, this principle is so important!
Don’t be fooled: ‘Bad friends will ruin good habits.’ (1st Corinthians 15:33, ETRV)
One person rightly says, “We are all products of our environment; every person we meet, every new experience or adventure, every book we read, touches and changes us, making us the unique being we are.” For the Christian, we would be wise to grasp this truth. Psalm 1:1 says, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful…” Why would such a person be blessed? I believe in part, it is because that person would not be negatively impacted by the influence of such people. Who and what we choose to be around, matters more than we know, when it comes to growth in Christ.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are…meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8-9)
As much as it depends on us, we need to seek to surround ourselves with people and things that will help us become more like Christ and more effective with His word. Notice, I did not say perfect people! If that were the case, we would all be lonely, or as Paul would say, “…you would need to go out of the world” (1st Corinthians 5:10). Rather, this awareness should cause us to look at what we watch, what we listen to, who we involve ourselves with, and the list goes on, enabling us to discern things and help promote a more conducive environment for growth. What does your environment look like? Could it use some renovation?