When I was a kid, I began to hear my parents tell me, “You become like those you run with. Choose wisely.” Those were wise words to a child, but they’re also wise words to you as an adult. We like to think that people don’t change us, but the truth of the matter is that each of us are being sharpened and shaped by the people closest to us. They’re the ones whom we let down our facade the most with to show who we really are. Because of that vulnerability, they become the people who shape our decisions, our interests and even direction of our life. Your innermost circle of friends even determine the level of success you’ll have in life. You can’t soar with eagles if you’re scratching around with turkeys all the time.
The Bible has a lot to say about friendships. It gives examples of people like David and Jonathon who were willing to sacrifice everything for each other. There’s also Paul and Timothy whose friendship was one where Paul was a mentor as he shaped this young pastor. However, Job had some friends that gave him bad advice and weren’t able to endure the suffering with their friend. They used their influence in his life to try to misrepresent God and affect his relationship with Him. The people we let in our innermost circle of friends shape even our relationship with God, so it’s eternally important to choose wisely.
In Psalm 101:6 David says, “My innermost circle will only be those whom I know are pure and godly. They will be the only ones I allow to minister to me” (TPT). He understood the importance of that group on his relationship with God and wanted to protect it most. Who are you allowing to minister to you and to shape your relationship with God? Are they pushing you closer to Him or are they misrepresenting God to you? If they’re not making you sharper, challenging you to grow more or improving your relationship with God, they’re holding you back. David was selective about who he let into that group, and we should be too. God is calling us to greater maturity, faith and relationship with Him. Are the people closest to you influencing you in that direction?
Thanks to @lyrawhite for making this photo available freely on @unsplash