Normally, when we think of being “Under the influence” we think of drugs or alcohol. But I would contend that it applies to everything in life.
My Daddy always told me, “If you lie with dogs you’ll get up with fleas”. And he was right. Unfortunately, I may have gotten a few “fleas” along the way, before I truly understood.
Thankfully, my fleas were easily remedied. That’s not always the case.
For some, those “fleas” have cost them their lives. For others, it cost them their jobs, their families, their self-worth, or their character. The Bible warns us of this in 1 Corinthians 15:33 (NIV)
“Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’”
No matter how strong your faith is, always remember, it’s much easier for someone to pull you down than for you to pull them up. I always liked the illustration of the person standing on top of a stool and another person standing on the ground. Regardless of their levels of strength, height or weight, it’s easier for the person on the ground to pull the person off the stool than it is for the person standing on the stool to lift the other person up. If you think your faith is so firm and your convictions are so strong that you could never be pulled down or that you would never do this or never do that…. Warning! “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18)
We must always be on guard and choose our friends and companions carefully. The people we hang around with will either raise or lower our standards. They will either encourage us to be a better version of ourselves or influence us to lower the bar. Likewise, we have this effect, on the people around us.
I would encourage you to consider these 2 important questions:
- Who or what are you under the influence of?
Who do you find yourself wanting to act like, dress like, talk like, or be like? Is that person a Christ–follower? When you are with them do you make good choices? Godly choices? Or not?
- Who is under your influence?
Whether you know it or not, someone is watching you. Someone wants to be like you. Maybe it’s your children, maybe it’s your co-workers, maybe it’s a friend. but whoever it is, they are taking their cues from you. What message are you sending?
In the Bible, Paul advises us to “Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12 (NLT)
Those are words to live by!
Pray with me: Heavenly Father, help me to choose my friends well. Help me to be a strong, Christ-like example to those around me. Strengthen me to make wise decisions. Lead me so that I may lead others. May everything I say and everything I do, bring glory and honor to You. Amen.