Choose your friends wisely.

Have you ever heard the saying, “if you sleep with dogs you’ll get fleas?”

Don’t worry, I know we love our furry friends. The saying is not critiquing dog lovers. It is however a warning about human companions.

Growing up, Dad cautioned us weekly against keeping “bad” company. Though “bad” was not always defined, I got the impression from his stories, that “bad” company meant anyone who would pull me away from God’s best for my life. Little did I know, God would re-teach me this lesson during my recovery.

Instead of just avoiding “bad” company – people who were disrespectful or trouble makers, gossipers, law breakers, idle, lazy, disobedient to parents, ungrateful… you get the picture. I learned that I should not only avoid negative individuals, but surround myself with people of faith. Keep “good” company, as Dad would say. If bad company can corrupt good character (1 Corinthians 15:33), the opposite can be true – good company will make us better people. Proverbs 13:20 puts it this way, “walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.”

During the most difficult time of my life I experienced the benefit of “good” company first hand. Surrounding myself with people of faith, greatly encouraged me. Positive, God-fearing individuals believed for me when I was too sick to think clearly and believe for myself. I would not have made it through without them. Yet I’m realizing, that this lesson is not just relevant for recovery. Staying in the company of faith-filled people is relevant for life.

With this new chance to live, I am striving to be the best possible version of myself. As such, I cannot keep close companionship with “bad” company or negative people who lack faith. Life is too precious and each moment is best treasured with “good” company.

Whether it’s work, school, home-life, or play, remaining in the company of faith-filled people while avoiding keeping close companionship with negative individuals, can have a lasting impact upon our character, present and future.

So who are the faith-filled people in your life? Who would you classify as “good” company and when was the last time you spoke with them?

The righteous should choose his friends carefully, For the way of the wicked leads them astray. Proverbs 12:26 (NKJV)