We’ve heard it been said before, ‘bad company corrupts good character’ (1 Corinthians 15:33), but we also know that we are to love everyone. ‘Keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins’ (1 Peter 4:8). So how do we draw the fine line between loving all, but not letting all influence us?
Whilst love is the heartbeat of the Christian faith and should not be withheld from anyone, when it comes to protecting yourself it is important that you have boundaries around who you let into your life. Not everyone should have access to all areas of who you are. Different people should have different levels of access. This is how you protect yourself, and your future.
I work in a building with hundreds of other staff. Every staff member has a key, but not every key unlocks every door in the building. In order to protect certain areas, confidential information, and protect special equipment, only certain people have keys to access certain areas. Likewise in our lives, we need to use wisdom in whom we allow into the different areas of who we are. Who do we allow to access most of our time? Who do we let speak into our lives? Who are we open to influencing us? There should be parts of you that are VIP access only.
This isn’t a word to avoid people, or to act exclusive, rather the opposite. This is an encouragement to actively seek out people who can influence your life for the better and spur you on in God. This is about carrying a humble and teachable heart. Seek out relationship with people whom as you are vulnerable with them, they can then impart Godly wisdom in return. People who are ahead of you and doing a good job and can tell you how to get there too. People who are producing fruit in their own lives and can therefore sow some seeds into yours.
Find people who will sharpen you. Keep in mind that sharpening isn’t always a pleasant process. ‘As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another (Proverbs 27:17)’. A good friend is someone who will speak Godly truth in love, pointing our your blindspots, sharpening your flaws, and encouraging you to be who you were made to me. Proverbs 11:14 says, ‘In abundance of counsellors there is victory’.
I am very grateful for close friends who are strong in God. They genuinely desire to see me walk into all that God has for me. They are a constant source of encouragement, not competition. They will pray for me in private, in person, or over the phone. They will speak the truth in love. They themselves are producing obvious fruit in their lives, so I trust them. I give them access to the VIP parts of my life. This is who I want influencing me, and sharpening me. They are people who if I became like them, I would be proud.
We aren’t designed to do life on our own. When you watch a professional runner, all you focus on is the athlete and their performance, but behind their race is a team of coaches, sponsors, supports, and advisors who help get the best out of the athlete. If we are to run our race well, how much more do we need the right people around us to get us where we need to be? Be intentional about seeking company with people who will bring you into all that God has for you.
A daily devotion for a better way of living.