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Does God Approve Of Everyone In Your Circle?

the Bible makes plenty of references about the types of people you should not be around and before I go any further take a moment to answer the question would God approve of everyone that's in my circle of influence Psalm 1 verse 1 paints a clear picture when speaking of the kinds of people who should be in our lives because the Bible says blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly nor stands in the path of Sinners nor sits in the seat of the scornful there's so much wisdom and guidance in this single verse when you really examine it a person is blessed when they are diligent about who they walk with which path they stand on and which seat they sit on so ask yourself the following questions about those around you who am I walking with which path am I standing on and where am I sitting now who are the ungodly people you need to Be watchful of those who are morally wrong those who are actively bad those who are wicked or unjust your faith your salvation is a precious thing that you have to guard and nurture for you to walk under the Council of the ungodly you are putting your faith in Salvation at risk now this teaching is not to say you cannot or should not interact with unbelievers no on the contrary we should minister to them and show them the love of God however the Bible makes it clear that it is not advisable to walk under their counsel which means their advice or guidance that's the key part to understand it's not advisable to do so and we are told many times First Corinthians 15 verse 33 says do not be deceived evil company corrupts good habits Proverbs 13 verse 20 says He Who Walks With wise men will be wise but the companion of fools will be destroyed so let's explore how The Company You Keep can affect you take a look at Tom who's a Christian his childhood friend Brian considers himself a free spirit and always teases Tom by saying at least I'm not bound by religion Tom and Brian have many conversations about faith God and Christianity Brian always challenges Tom how do you even know who wrote the Bible it's a form of Mind Control why don't you ever want to get drunk with us because of your God where was your God when your house got robbed doesn't he protect you Tom's faith is constantly being hammered by negative words Tom's faith is consistently hammered by words of discouragement words of dejection what do you think it'll do to Tom for him to always hear toxic words like that inevitably seeds of Doubt will be sowed if Tom continues a close friendship with Brian will his faith grow will his belief grow what happens when Tom goes through a storm in his life do you think Brian will encourage him let's take another practical application to Proverbs 13 verse 20 which says He Who Walks With wise men will be wise but the companion of fools will be destroyed I once heard an interesting illustration about the people in your inner circle if you run a hundred meters with your friends and you constantly beat them eventually you will become complacent eventually you'll get to a stage where you won't try as hard because no one challenges you but if you were to go and run 100 meters with professional athletes you might come and last but your time will be faster probably much faster than when you run with your friends and come in first place but do you know why that is the level of effort you put in while running with athletes is greater than you would exert with your friends and although this example isn't exactly a Biblical one it's another angle that shows that the company you keep can have an effect on you now imagine if those friends weren't Runners but they were men and women who were on fire for God men and women who are mightily used by God men and women who are prayer warriors imagine having people like that in your inner circle what kind of effect would that have on your own walk with God how much would you grow in faith if you were to surround yourself with such people so back to those three questions who am I walking with which path am I standing on and where am I sitting the question is asked in the Bible Amos 3 verse 3. can two walk together unless they agree the people around you are you walking in agreement and sharing a common goal of fighting the good fight of faith are you encouraging one another in times of weakness or is The Company You Keep always throwing questions about your God fight to be in the presence of good company people that challenge you to pray more to study the word of God more your faith and salvation needs to be protected nurtured and developed and just as sure as the Bible says in First Corinthians 15 verse 33 do not be deceived evil company corrupts good habits make sure you're not deceived by the mindset that says the more time I spend with them the better chance they have of being saved your approach should be to love them minister to them but don't then fall under their guidance or counsel Heaven rejoices when Sinners repent and we are called to preach the gospel so do that but do it with caution do it with love but also with care for your own faith and salvation so that you are not discouraged yourself protect your faith and salvation at all times Jesus Christ has loved us even as we are Jesus Christ has and still does show us kindness and mercy and compassion and in his words he has given us the Commandments to love your neighbor as you love yourself and let me tell you it's in your best interest to forgive and move on to forgive and let go because Matthew chapter 6 verse 15 says but if you do not forgive others for their sins your father will not forgive your sins bitterness and unforgiveness are inseparable emotions you can't be bitter about something you've forgiven and let go of so I encourage each and everyone listening right now learn to forgive quickly and strive to imitate Jesus Christ let's be people who are full of the love of God in our hearts let's do away with arguments and divisions and let's be kind and helpful to one another let's encourage each other in the faith let's be tenderhearted compassionate understanding and willing to advance the kingdom of God over our own self-interest I had to get to a stage where I had to stop worrying about the negative comments I had to stop getting drawn into fights which are real distractions and energy drainers often it's the enemy that tries to throw up all of these conflicts so you'll waste your time and energy involved in battles that don't matter yes you may be a good person and they may be provoking you yes what they're saying about you may not be true but let me tell you it doesn't matter how good you are how loving or kind and upstanding people are people and somebody somewhere is not going to like you someone is going to try to discredit you God can defend you better than you can defend yourself the way in which we think we should defend ourselves is often not God's will or way God says I am your Defender I am your Refuge I am your strong tower so

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