Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
The first Psalm is one of my life verses. I want to be the blessed man described by the psalmist. As I’ve studied this passage many times, I’ve come to understand and have observed the downward progression that all of us are susceptible to if we’re not careful. It’s really simple, those who are around us have the potential to have a profound effect on our lives. In fact, it’s almost guaranteed! Paul wrote to the Corinthian church to make sure that they understood this principle in the New Testament when he said, “Bad company corrupts good character.” Take a look at how this process works.
1st – It can be so subtle. We find ourselves around people who aren’t pursuing God the same way we are. In fact, they are probably all around us. At work, at the gym, at the ball field, maybe even at home. These people are around us everyday and we often find ourselves going in the same direction as they are, so we walk with them…both literally and figuratively. Before we know it, they begin to change the way we see the world around us, the people around us and perhaps even the way we see our relationship with God. We don’t realize it at first, but a shift happens.
2nd – We stop. Instead of just moving in the same direction inadvertently, something clicks within us. We decide to stop for a minute and connect with this person. On some small level, a relationship begins. We begin to care what they think, about their outlook on life. Then the truly devastating happens.
3rd – We sit. All forward progress stops and we begin to develop the relationship that will lead us to places that we don’t want to go. Instead of moving forward in our relationship with God, our relationship with this person becomes more important. We would never say that out loud, but in our heart we begin to change. Slowly our behavior changes.
I see it happen all the time. All of us are in danger of someone capturing our attention and leading us away from the path that God has prepared for us. I genuinely believe that these people are not doing it consciously, they are looking for friendships and relationships too. There’s nothing wrong with that, but we have to be careful. The people we walk with, stand with and sit with WILL have a profound impact on our lives. Choose your friends wisely. Reach out to those who are far from God, but be smart about who you spend the bulk of your time with. In short, surround yourself with people who love Jesus!
The good news is that as we develop Godly relationships in our life, friends who encourage our spiritual development, we will grow in the most important relationship of all…our relationship with Jesus. Find people who are in love with God and His Word. Then the promises of Psalm 1 will be true for you. I pray that you will be a tree planted in God’s Word and that God blesses you in such a way that whatever you do prospers. Happy Monday Everyone!