I'm sure you have heard the expression, 'They were all tarred with the same brush.'
If we are going to have the best out of life we need to watch out for bad associations. Sometimes the people we associate with can have such an influence on us that we become like them, and we may not even recognise it.
Colin Powell said, "The less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve. Any time you tolerate mediocrity in others, it increases your mediocrity. An important attribute in successful people is their impatience with negative thinking and negative acting people. As you grow, your associates will change. Some of your friends will not want you to go on. They will want you to stay where they are. Friends that don't help you climb will want you to crawl. Your friends will stretch your vision or choke your dream. Those that don't increase you will eventually decrease you."
[General Colin Luther Powell, United States Army (Ret.) KCB (Honorary) is an American politician. He was the 65th United States Secretary of State (2001-2005), serving under President George W. Bush. He was the first Jamaican American appointed to that position. As a General in the United States Army, Powell also served as National Security Advisor (1987–1989) and as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1989–1993), holding the latter position during the Gulf War.]
Prov 4:7 Stay away from fools, for you won't find knowledge on their lips.
Prov 9:6 Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.
Prov 13:20 (The Passion Translation) If you want to grow in wisdom, spend time with the wise. Walk with the wicked and you’ll eventually become just like them.
Sometimes unknowingly we can begin to imitate those we spend time with. Sometimes we have to know when to stop associating with certain individuals. That takes both wisdom and courage.
1 Cor 5:11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.
2 Thess 3:6 And now, dear brothers and sisters, we give you this command in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Stay away from all believers who live idle lives and don’t follow the tradition they received from us.
These words were written by the Apostle Paul, under the influence of The Holy Spirit to the believers in Thessalonica. Paul was both admonishing them and warning them not to associate with non-believers. They were to tell the non-believers what The Word of God says. If they chose not to accept it, then the believers were to keep away from them.
Psalm 1:1-6 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; 2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. 3 He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. 4 The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away. 5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 6 For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish.
So today, can I ask you who is having an influence on your life?