Today we continue our series, “Progress On Purpose.” I told you that God wants us to walk in “NEW LEVELS IN 2021!” But if we are going to do so, we must be intentional about our progress. With that in mind, as we lay the foundation for the year, I told you that I would discuss “Leveling Up” in five areas:
In the last area, I am addressing leveling up your external relationships. I will cover the following topics in this section:
1. The three people you need in your life (the roles you need filled)
2. Discerning when to let people go
3. The importance of choosing the right friends
4. Surrounding yourself with people of like-precious-faith
Setting the stage:
Today we are going to talk about choosing the right friends. The Bible has a lot to say about this. Let’s get into it.
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
1. When you surround yourself with the right people you will hear the right things and get the right advice.
a) (Psalm 1:1-3 ERV) “Great blessings belong to those who don’t listen to evil advice, who don’t live like sinners, and who don’t join those who make fun of God. Instead, they love the Lord’s teachings and think about them day and night. So they grow strong, like a tree planted by a stream—a tree that produces fruit when it should and has leaves that never fall. Everything they do is successful.”
— If you get the wrong advice, and you take it, you can ruin your life.
— Successful people surround themselves with people who provide sound counsel.
b) Solomon taught us that if we associate with the wise, we will become wise ourselves. However, if we associate with fools, we will become foolish. Both wisdom and foolishness are transferred by association (Prov 13:20).
— You have to very careful who you listen to you. This is one of the major reasons why you must pick your friends wisely. When you are around friends influence will take place. Either you will influence them or they will influence you, but rest assured, influence will occur. Who are you being influenced by?
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
Good people are careful about choosing their friends, but evil people always choose the wrong ones.
— Godly friends keep you sharp.
— The wrong friends will lead you OUTSIDE the will of God for your life.
Don’t be friends with people who become angry easily. Don’t stay around quick-tempered people. If you do, you may learn to be like them. Then you will have the same problems they do.
— The bottom line is that your friends will rub off on you. So choose the right ones.
— Surround yourself with people who are aligned with your purpose and you will all be able to support each other.
2. Show me your friends and I will show you your future.
My mother always said, “Show me who you hang with and I will tell you who you are.” Another way to say it is, “Show me your friends and I will show you your future.”
— If you surround yourself with the wrong people you will inevitably become the wrong person.
— You can’t be around the wrong people and think you are going to become the right person.
— When you carefully select those you will purposefully surround yourself with you are protecting what God is doing in your life. When you willingly surround yourself with people who are NOT going down the same path as you, you are opening yourself up to input that you should NOT be receiving. As a result, you run the risk of derailing yourself from your destiny.
— Paul said, “Don’t be fooled: “Bad friends will ruin good habits and corrupt your character.” (1 Cor 15:33). That’s as plain as it can be!
— Solomon said, “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but a true friend can be better than a brother.” (Prov 18:24). God can give you friends who will be more of a blessing to you than your own blood relatives.
— Friends provide help when you need it. Solomon said, “Two are better than one.” (Ecc 4:9). He went on to say, “If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” (v.10). What you don’t want to be is all alone. Once again, don’t allow the pain “so-called” friends caused you in the past to keep you from opening your heart to the friends God has for you now. You need them and they need you. Together, you will become the men/women God called you to be!
— You get to “do life” with others. When you connect with the right people you can support each other, fuel each other’s dreams, and build each other up. This is the will of God. We were not created to “do life” in isolation. Prisoners are put in isolation as a form of punishment and it can drive them crazy because we were designed to connect with others. Just make sure you connect with the right people!
That’s enough for today.
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I thank You for this reminder. As I seek to LEVEL UP my life in 2021, I will be thoughtful, prayerful, careful, and purposeful in all I do. You only give ONE LIFE. I am determined to make the most of the one You have given me. I refuse to waste time on the wrong people or the wrong things. I am led of Your Spirit and I am purpose-driven this year, like never before. I surround myself with wise people and their wisdom is transferred by association. I connect with those who are already where I want to be. My association sharpens me and draws higher and deeper in You. I connect with the right people, so I can hear the right things, and continue to become the right person. I protect Your anointing on my life and I refuse to contaminate it by connecting with the wrong people. Living this way I LEVEL UP my relationships in 2021. GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith! In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!