Pr. 12:26: “The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray.”
I don’t know if you’ve ever found yourself distracted, unfocused, or less concerned about the things of Christ. I have. Like waking out of a deep sleep, my eyes have opened at times to find myself wandering, focusing on myself, involved in things that shouldn’t have been a priority.
I can honestly say that I have realized that it was during those times that the people with which I was most surrounding myself were good people, fun people, but usually not people whose priority was to serve the Lord. Typically it was the kind of company that kept me so busy that I no longer made the appropriate amount of time for my relationship with the Lord.
Certainly those friends weren’t controlling me, my choices, or my calendar, but there were such entertaining things of the world surrounding me that, without realizing it, I simply lost focus. Jesus was friends with sinners, so how is it that He kept His focus so well?
He never lost sight of the reason He was here by focusing on God’s will. (John 6:38) He also made time to get away for prayer. Over and over we see Jesus getting away from distractions and from “the crowd” to have intentional time in conversation with His father.
Another thing Jesus did was to surround Himself with those who were willing to follow Him. His disciples gave everything up in order to follow the Messiah. He ate with tax-collectors, healed the sick, and spoke with the Pharisees, but the only people with whom He found Himself intimate, were those who had a heart to follow the Lord.
The apostle Paul did the same. This morning I read Romans 16. I wanted to skim over it, but came back to it after I read this Proverb. Paul is greeting his brothers and sisters in Christ. He has an army of Christ followers with whom he is close and it is clear that he nurtures those relationships above all others.
We need to surround ourselves with others who believe in whom we believe to build us up, help us in times of need, and work alongside us to help us all accomplish the common purpose for which we were created. I have experienced this, and last night heard someone else speaking about how our brothers and sisters in Christ are often closer to us than our own family. In the flesh this saddens us, but in the spiritual realm this is because we have a common purpose, goal, and Savior. It is good to have a family of believers with whom we can surround ourselves and who can keep us focused on the things that really matter.