If you’ve ever read the heartbreaking account of Dinah, Jacob’s only daughter, in the 34th Chapter of Genesis, you will easily conclude that all the trouble that came upon her and her family could have been avoided had she not decided one day to go out to see how the rest of the world lived. Likewise, if you know the story of the prodigal son in the 15th Chapter of Luke, you will see that he too may have saved himself a lot of misery and grief had he not decided to leave the safety of his father’s home one day to go out and explore the world.
You may say that you understand the lessons in both stories but will protest that you have to go out into the world every day in order to make a living for you and your family. Yours is a valid point. In fact, when praying to the Father for His Disciples, Jesus said: “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.” (John 17:15) Obviously, it is virtually impossible for most of us not to go out into the world or be touched by it in one way or another. Nevertheless, we must also keep in mind that, although we are in the world, we are not of the world.
One eternal truth it will serve us well not to forget is this one: “Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.”(1 Corinthians 15:33) The lesson here is clear. Whether “out in the world” or among those who call themselves God’s people, those we continually hang around with can either encourage and strengthen our faith, or else bring us down spiritually. Here too, it is almost impossible to avoid contact with those who have a negative impact on our lives because very often they are members of our own family. In this case, it will be helpful to pray for God’s grace and strength while we are around them. Even so, we should make it a point to try to have as much fellowship as we can with those who will help us stay inspired and motivated for God. In fact, I just thanked a special person a few days ago whose kind words of support continuously help me stay inspired and motivated to continue writing this blog. Lets be honest here: We all need to be encouraged every once in a while. I suppose there may be some who only need the Lord in order to stay encouraged but whether you are in that elite group or not, I pray you’ll remember to encourage those around you who are not as spiritually strong as you. To confirm the belief of many that we, as God’s children, need each other, Proverbs 27:17 says this: “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”Finding such folks in our lives to hang around with is a sharp thing to do.
God’s word for today: (Hebrews 10:25 Common English Bible (CEB) “Don’t stop meeting together with other believers, which some people have gotten into the habit of doing. Instead, encourage each other, especially as you see the Day drawing near.”