One Ministry, One Church, One Message Worldwide
In our daily encounters with others, we come across all types of people with various attitudes and philosophies. It’s normal for us to want to be accepted, and we often do our best to fit in and be a part of the crowd. The only problem is that, if we’re not careful, we can be influenced by wrong-thinking that hurts others and causes pain. Being aware of ungodly influences around us and resisting them can keep us out of danger.
Choosing our friends wisely is one strategy. No matter how young or old we are, the people we spend time with will eventually have an impact on our thinking, for good or bad. Just as keeping company with positive people rubs off on us, associating with negative people affects our attitude for the worse. “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character’” (1 Corinthians 15:33, NIV). We must be careful not to let others’ wrong-thinking drag us down.
It’s important to guard our minds because what we think determines what we say. No one has ever casually let something slip out of their mouth that they didn’t believe. Over time, contemplating and meditating on something profoundly affects what we believe. Words are powerful and what we verbally declare can come to pass. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life]” Proverbs 18:21, AMPC).
When we see someone with issues, problems, and drama in their life, it can often be traced back to the way they think. Thinking in agreement with the Word of God empowers us to succeed and make wise decisions, but wrong-thinking that contradicts the Word creates barriers to success. “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23, NKJV). What we believe in our hearts dictates what we do and how we relate to others.
Another way to fight ungodly influences is to refuse to cave in to peer pressure. Worldly philosophy suggests that to be popular and well-liked, we must be willing to compromise our values and go along with everyone else. It’s not easy to stand firm on what we know is right, but when we do, our self-respect is strengthened. Refusing to be moved also sets an example for others who may be facing the same temptation. “In all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you” (Titus 2:7, 8, NKJV).It’s easier to recognize and resist bad influences around us when we keep ourselves grounded in the Word of God. Keeping grounded doesn’t come from just a casual reading, but a deep study and contemplation of how what we read specifically applies to us and the situations in which we find ourselves. God knows exactly what we’re going through. “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13, NKJV). When we feel ourselves being pulled in the wrong direction, we can rely on God to strengthen us enough to withstand it.