The Company We Keep
Lets talk about the company a person keeps and how that company ultimately influences the person they become. In Proverbs it says,
“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” — Proverbs 27:17
We are the sum of all the intimate friends we interact with in life. Our thought process, our actions, and our lifestyle all derive from the circle of friends we choose. The source of your beliefs and thoughts are greatly influenced by those around you, for the good and for the bad.
“Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”—Proverbs 13:20
Your dreams and desires are nourished and starved by the influence of your friends. Moreover, your influence on others will also determine the course of their lives. Think about it for a moment. Do you have a friend who encourages you when you are feeling low? Have they said words to you that sustained you when you've needed it? Have they acted in faith or boldness in life, and because of that, influenced you to act similarly? Or to the contrary, do you have a friend who is depressing and critical and constantly taking from you, but never giving? Do you have someone close to you who discourages your thoughts and dreams? Either way, good influence or bad influence, you will become what you associate with.
It is virtually impossible to achieve great things in life while being fed negative input. This is an important fact to recognize if you want to fulfill your calling. This doesn't mean you need to abandon a friend if he or she is negative or has some other flaw, because we all have flaws, but it does mean you need to judge what it is that your circle of friends believes and encourages. True friends want to see the best for the other (Colossians 3:12-14), but immature friends will secretly or openly try to hold you back from great things. Immature friends do this because they are threatened by the idea of change and fear their own failures. The best advice is to find like-minded friends who are on a similar path, and encourage each other in sincerity and kindness. If your circle of friends does not believe or act in the same fashion your spirit says is right, then you are either destined to conform or will one day take a different path.
Friendships are key to sustaining a good life and realizing your dreams and callings. We cannot go it alone.
“For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” —Ecclesiastes 4:10
In the path of life, God gives us many great friendships and these should not be neglected. If someone is a stalwart of encouragement to you, let them know. If someone has helped you up when you have fallen, tell them thanks. Value those who are a blessing to you and as you give your love to them, you will receive it back many fold.
At Travel the Road, we count each of you as friends. Though many of you we have never met face-to-face, we have received your kind testimonies and beautiful words. Your prayers and financial support that are given faithfully each month are such a blessing and touch our hearts. You encourage us everyday with your love of missions and you are like-minded friends that care about accomplishing the Great Commission. We are thankful for you. Peace be with you!
Tim and Will