Well I just need to go ahead and let you all know my preacher is a thief! He stole my message and used it for part of his sermon on Sunday. I don't know how he cracked my computer and found it but there ya go! I figure since he stole my message than I can use part of his to add to mine! Okay he's really not a thief but it seems to be a message The Lord wants out there. I would say he was talking to just me but He and I already had this discussion a little while back! (FYI I did listen so if your reading this and I haven't called...)
Remember that song from Saturday morning cartoons with the singing egg, "You are what you eat from your head down to your feet..." I always loved those cartoon snippets. This message makes me think of that. Its the same idea and we often tell our children this yet we forget to practice what we preach. Its guilt by association. You are a reflection of your friends. If you surround yourself with Godly, church going, Lord loving, bible reading Christians you either are or will be one yourself. If you eat healthy veggies and fruits then your body will be healthy. If you eat junk your body will reflect it. If you surround yourself with hateful ugly people your attitude will reflect that. I think we all got that. It pretty common sense and its basic. BUT the kicker the ones we never see coming are the things like chocolate covered strawberries. Its fruit right so its should be good for you. It lost some of its goodness when you added the chocolate. We have many friends like that. Their church going Christians so we can hang out with them right? They're good right? Do they have a sweet layer of sin coating them? Maybe they're not so good after all. Are they in the word? Are you in it? We all say we love the Lord but are yours and their actions showing that. What parts of your life have a thin layer of chocolate sin covering them?
Those friends aren't bad they just might not be good for you everyday. Your attitude is often caught not taught. (Thanks Brian!) We tend to reflect those around us. Like surrounds itself with like. We tend to surround ourselves with people who are similar to us. If you look at your friends they probably have similar attitudes, lifestyles, families. Kids are usually within the same age ranges, things like that. Now look closer at them. Is their worship the same? Is that a good thing or not? Do they go to the same church? Do you go at the same times? Are you studying the same things? Or at least similar churches, times, study groups, and books. If your answer was no to the last few than maybe you need to change a few habits. Go on a spiritual life style change. Not a diet that implies your losing something but a lifestyle change implies your making changes for the better, your gaining health, your gaining a better relationship with God. See we know who is "bad", but what about the ones who think you don't have to read the bible to know God? You just have to show up to church on Sunday and you've done your part. The "Sure I pray"ones who don't hit their knees daily much less two or three times a day. What about Sunday school? Sunday night service? Wednesday nights? (I'm often guilty there. Just thought I should point out my on beam.) VBS? Special fellowship gatherings? Daily devotionals? Music? Books? Movies? These things matter. I'm just saying.
Phil. 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report; if there be any virtue and if there be any praise , think on these things.
Sometimes you have to step back from friends, change YOURSELF. Its hard, people like to keep you in the mold YOU created. When you change and create a new mold it can make others uncomfortable. They now no longer "know" you. You've changed the dynamics of the friendship. Some friendships can't stand up under that kind of weight. If that's the case it was poorly built to begin with. Try building your new friendships on "Christ solid rock" as your foundation. Don't surround yourself with what you are but with what you want to become.