Keeping good company
Proverbs 2:6 tells us that ‘The Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.’ (NKJV). However, other people can bring the opposite, questioning our motives, God’s power, or generally bringing negativity. We can find ourselves surrounded by people who shake our belief in ourselves, and sometimes, even in God. Jesus warned us about that negativity. The Message version of the Bible paraphrases His words to His disciples like this: ‘Don’t be naive. Some people will impugn your motives, others will smear your reputation’ (Matthew 10:17 MSG). Because of the imperfect world we have created, opposition from others is unfortunately an unavoidable part of living for God. It’s important for us to use the Godly wisdom that Proverbs mentions, and discern which of the people around us increase our self-doubt, and who helps strengthen our faith in God. Whenever we can, we should look to distance ourselves from anyone who regularly speaks negatively into our lives. 1 Corinthians 15:33 says: ‘Do not be fooled. “Bad companions ruin good character”’ (GNT). That’s an urgent statement. Allowing our minds and hearts to be filled with ideas that go against God, no matter how much we intend to fight them, really can get to us. The best thing to do is to walk away. And when it’s impossible to separate ourselves completely from those bringing doubt and negativity to our lives, then the best solution is to cling to God. We have to be active in this, because left unchallenged, words from others can take root quickly. If we can anchor ourselves in Scripture, and listen for God’s voice in prayer, we’ll find it so much easier to stand strong against the naysayers, and press on in Jesus’ footsteps.
Find a Bible verse that reminds you of an important truth about God. Learn it by heart, and use it to re-root yourself when negativity comes along.
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