Monday, December 20, 2010

Contentment Day 7: Company- Stay Away from Grumpy...

Philippians 3:2
Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh...

In yesterday's post about complaining, I was talking about a friend I have who never seems to be happy.  He's always complaining about something.  In fact, it kind of reminds me of a funny comedy bit from one of Conan O'brien's shows.  The discussion was about how everything around us is truly miraculous, from cell phones, to flight....yet we always have something to complain about. 

Today, we pick up where we left off...but on a whole new level.  The reality is, one way to purge ourselves from the trap of discontent is to check out the company that we keep.  Hang around complainers and you will find yourself molding into one. 

In today's text Paul is giving a warning about the kind of company we keep.  He was giving warning regarding the Judaizers of that day- people who were so stuck in religion and wrong beliefs about the faith.  They were always bringing down the people around them, making them feel as though their relationship with God was not enough, as though they needed to add to grace by "doing" rather than just "being".  Spending enough time with them was sure to be devastating to the life of the believer- and Paul warned them to watch out!

What a contrast from the company he was discussing in the previous chapter...people who lifted him up in encouragement and love.  People who came along side of him and of others with genuine affection and concern. 

But that is the sad truth of the matter...the people we spend the most time with will eventually infiltrate our lives with their attitudes and their beliefs.  Time and time again scripture discusses this concept:
Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character;
Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. 

This is serious stuff here.  God knows how impressionable we are.  He knows that our flesh is naturally drawn to that which is negative.  He knows the power of personal relationships and the effect they can have on our spirits.

So take a look at your life today.  Take a look at who you are spending time with, and what you are allowing your ears to hear.  At the end of the day, you are the one who is responsible for the kind of things you allow to fill your heart and your mind.  Learn to keep good company.  Learn to be content.

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