May 4, 2021 — Who You Hanging With?

“I was out in the front yard yesterday afternoon,” Stan commented, “and one of the young neighbors stopped by on the way home from school.  We talked for a few minutes and I asked him if he had learned anything in school that day.”

“What did he say,” I asked.

“He said they are studying the Declaration of Independence in the history class and that they were focusing on what a big step it was for the American colonists to declare their independence.”

“It was a big deal,” I replied.  “Lots of potential consequences if they did that and then failed in the ensuing fight over it.”

“That’s right,” Stan said, “and that’s what the young man was telling me about, that he had learned something that Benjamin Franklin was reported to have said when he signed the Declaration of Independence.”

“What’s that?” I asked.

“He is reported to have said, ‘We must hang together or surely we shall hang separately’.”

“The importance of sticking together,” I commented.

“Yes,” Stan replied, “sticking together and knowing who it is I’m sticking or hanging with.  The Bible touches on this.”

“Sticking together? I asked.  “The Bible covers that?”

“More the ‘hanging’ part,” Stan said.  “The Bible emphasizes that there is real importance in my choice of who I hang out with.”

“Hang out with?” I repeated. “How so?”

“As a younger person, in my pre-Christian days,” Stan responded, “I made a lot of bad choices about who I spent time with.  Lots of bad influence from the world, the flesh, and the devil.  It can still happen if I’m not careful how and where I spend my time.”

“That’s why,” he continued, “I try to be very intentional about my choice of friends, acquaintances, and others with whom I spend time.  On my own, I tend to make bad choices.  However, if I give everything, including how and where I spend my time, to the leading of the Holy Spirit, and if I follow His lead, there’s a much greater likelihood that what I choose will lead to a strengthened faith walk.”

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Bible verses to consider:

Do not be deceived: Bad company corrupts good morals. 1 Corinthians 5:33.

Do not associate with a man given to anger; or go with a hot-tempered man, lest you learn his ways, and find a snare for yourself.  Proverbs 22:24-25.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, that you care about me and how my relationship with you grows ever-deeper.  You do this in so many ways, but especially in how and where I choose to spend the time I have remaining on this side of eternity.  I confess that too often I make bad choices, ones that draw me away from you rather than closer.  Please help me in following each step of your lead in drawing ever-closer to you in an ever-deepening personal relationship.  Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

Think on this:  Do you believe God cares about how and where you spend your time?  Why or why not?  If you think He does care, how are you doing in following what you sense is His lead?  Are you doing as well as you — and He — would like?  If no, what kind of changes may be called for?  What is the best way for those changes to happen?

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