Good morning Friend. I trust you had a wonderful weekend. By God’s Grace, today we will continue on our Wisdom Series, particularly as it relates with our Association. Association is one of the strongest forces in known human history. Downplaying the impact of association in one’s life is a loud expression of folly. Your association is doing more to you than you are conscious of. Many people say things like “We’re just friends, that’s all…” Well, my point exactly… That’s all the devil needs to pull you down into the path of retrogression. Sometimes, the devil actually takes notes from us on “New and trendy ways to self destruct”. Every progress in any man’s life can be traced to a point where a positive association was introduced… In the same way, you can trace every major setback in a man’s life to the subtle injection of a destructive friendship. Your association is not just an important issue to discuss, it’s all there is to talk about!
The downfall of man began when Eve lent her eartime to an age-old adversary. No friendship comes with a placard with the inscription; “I’m here to destroy you!”. The concept of friendship in itself suggests acceptance, fellowship, honesty and sacrifice, so it takes extra discernment to see beyond the obvious and decode the ploy of the enemy. This isn’t an attempt to make you so critical of those around you to a degree that you don’t believe anyone deserves your friendship or that there are some perfect friends somewhere… No! The Bible teaches us not to be high minded or to think of ourselves better than others. However, we are taught to be sober and vigilant. To be sober is different from being sombre… To be sober means to be in your right mind and see things for what they really are. After a stupor we say the alcoholic has become sober. You need to be sober in order to see the friendships in your life for what they really are… Pushers or Pullers. You don’t need a perfect friend, you only need one with the valueset that sets you up for success. Association breeds Simulation. You ultimately become who you connect with consistently overtime.
1 Corinthians 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
The Scriptures makes it clear that when it comes to association, we’ve got to beware of deception! That’s a major way the enemy deceives a lot of the folks in our generation. You owe every man love, but association is one thing you must be deliberate about. Mind your friends beloved, do not be deceived. Be sober, be vigilant, your adversary will not come into your life as an adversary but as a subtle cheer leader and friend. If Eve had seen a hideous creature with a pitchfork, I’m sure she’d have called Adam’s attention, but the enemy came as a well meaning friend who promised a better life.
He that walks with the Wise will catch up with the dominant atmosphere in that company just like Saul prophesied among the Prophets, but the destruction of the company of fools will not exempt the new intake… be wise! The following are signs that you have been deceived into the wrong company;
1. You will catch yourself SAYING the wrong things: The first manifestation of a wrong company is usually verbal. You just find yourself saying the wrong things. The wrong company may not be evil morally, they may just be folks who are committed doubters like those 10 spies in Israel. They just don’t ever see or say good about anything or anyone. Folks like that will never believe in your dreams, they find security in low realities. Just pretend to have made a big break and watch their response to it. Their mind is shallow and can’t hold much. Do yourself a favour… GET OUT! When you realise you’re beginning to sound like you have no picture of a better future, your company needs an upgrade. It’s not pride to change company, it is Wisdom and Love. Love because only when you’re better off without them can they learn their lesson and challenge themselves to also upgrade.
2. Conversations with them doesn’t CHALLENGE you to do more: It leaves you with this ungodly sense of complacency. You begin to believe that there’s nothing special about you or the purpose you carry within your spirit. You remain where you are for years and that hot fervour that once characterised your disposition to life cools into a frigid sense of lethargy. Your life was designed by God to be a PURSUIT, you’re to keep running till He comes to take you home. You must keep apprehending that for which Christ apprehended you. Any company that makes you coast for too long was designed by the enemy to halt your purpose dead in its tracks. Keep running… No matter what!
3. You became a Master at BLAME TRADING: Nothing characterises a loser better than blame trading. A winner doesn’t trade blames, He takes responsibility. A loser however, never believes he was responsible for any of his predicaments. It’s either his patents, his lecturers, the stock market, the government or even God that is at fault. That is why the dominant conversations among companies like this border on how bad the Country is, how terrible the educational system is, how unfair the legal system is, how mean people are… They seem to be perpetually angry at OTHER people for why they are the way they are. No force in the universe can stop a man that has decided to TAKE RESPONSIBILITY! You take responsibility, not because you’re at fault but because you’re the solution. Jesus wasn’t to blame for Sin, but He is to Praise for Salvation. Only responsible people have the chance to ever change any situation they find themselves.
I do not want to mention the obvious signs of moral decadence that comes from wrong association. Your conscience serves in such capacities to make you aware of your state… I have however highlighted a few subtle manifestations of being in the wrong company. Any conscious attempt to morally continue to sin in spite of internal and external warnings leads to unpleasant ends. There is a way that seems right… But the end are the ways of death. Be deliberate about your company today folks… Have a fruitful week ahead.