The Company You Keep

1 Corinthians 15:33

Don’t be deceived: “bad company kills off good habits”!

The people you are around the most have the power to ruin your character.

The force of your circle of influence is quite strong, and either reinforces your good habits, or destroys them over time.

Therefore, you want, as much as is possible for you, to spend most of your time hanging around people who also are working on the habits you have found to be worthy of attention and energy. Or as I tell our daughters, “Make friends with people you want to be like.”

It is probably obvious, but the person you want to spend the most time with is the Holy Spirit. You can do this all day long, but it is also good to get some time alone with her everyday. Then you can better guard against spending time with someone else’s interpretation of God. Best to go directly to the Source. Then you can of course check yourself with others whom you know are pursuing God out of purity of heart to make sure you’re not completely off the rails, as is easy to do the more time you spend alone. (But I find personally that it is much easier to go off the rails when I’m around a lot of people Paul would consider bad company than when I’m alone)

Being around people of like mind with the same goal in life is a big idea behind church gatherings, but sadly, I have found it rather difficult to find very many people who are intentionally cultivating the habit of prayer. When I do find someone who prioritizes prayer, I react as if I’ve just seen a unicorn…or Sasquatch…or Nessy….

Do the people you hang out with the most reinforce your good habits? Challenge your bad ones? Call you to higher habit formation?

I do want to say that it is incredibly encouraging being with people of like mind in the Spirit, and a great way to grow closer to God, witnessing different aspects of God shining through them.

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