1 Corinthians 15:33,34 (NASB) Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.” 34 Become sober-minded as you ought, and stop sinning; for some have no knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.

I have been blessed throughout my life to be surrounded by some truly wonderful people.  Friends, family, teachers, preachers and at times divinely appointed strangers.  The vast majority of the people that I’ve chosen to do life with, are hard working, caring, loving, dutiful people.  

A couple weeks ago I spent a week in the Colorado Rockies with one of my dearest friends.  We spent a week atop a mountain, scouring the slopes for mule deer.  We worked, played, laughed and struggled together.  He had my back and I had his.  He is by no means a perfect person, none of us are, but he is a man of character, moral fiber, love and compassion for his friends and family.  He is a man that makes me a better man being in his presence and observing a good many of his examples.

At times, I’ve associated with people who didn’t have my best interests at heart.  At times I didn’t always harbor the best intentions for others.  There have been many times I’ve allowed my associations to lead me down a less than glorious path.  There have been just as many, possibly more, instances where others have allowed their association with me to lead them down a less than glorious path.  

The point I’m getting to is simple. What you want to “be”, do, have, see, experience, avoid, etc. in life is largely determined by who you associate with.  Even a moral, righteous, God fearing man can and does fall easily to temptation.  When we surround ourselves with people who wish to follow down destructive paths, it often doesn’t take long for us to join them.  Likewise, as born again believers in Jesus Christ, we have a duty and obligation to “be sober-minded, and stop sinning”, not only for our own sake, but for the sake of those who do not know Jesus Christ.  We have a responsibility to illustrate to all within our sphere of influence what a pursuit of righteousness and a deeply committed relationship with Jesus looks like.

So, the questions I have for you to think about are: Who are the people you spend most of your time with?  How do they behave, act, talk, recreate, treat others, treat you?  What attracts you to them?  Do they know the Lord?  What do these associations bring to your life to make it better, aid in steering it down a righteous road?  What are you doing, saying, acting out in your life and its associations that is steering others down a righteous road, pointing them toward Jesus?  Are your actions pointing others there, or are they illustrations of hypocrisy, pointing them toward disaster?  Let your life be a lantern of the Light that is Jesus to others!  Have a blessed weekend!

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace