My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: for their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.” – Proverbs 1:15-16

The path of life is not designed to be walked alone. God knew that, at times, the pressures of life – stress, strains, and storms – would be too much for us to handle on our own. So, all along our journey, God has planned divine appointments – connections with individuals with whom our life’s path won’t just cross, but individuals who will become an indispensable part of our life. These relationships aren’t just good, they’re necessary. Cary Schmidt put it this way, “God created people and God connects people for a purpose.” Their purpose is to have a positive impact on us and to help develop us into the child of God that He desires for us to be. We must understand that, whether for the good or for the bad, we become like the people that we choose to associate with. While God has carefully planned these connections, He has left the choice of association up to us and we must be careful to make these decisions wisely. Remember, wisdom and foolishness are both contagious and our choice of friends will determine the path that we take. The word refrain means “to deny, to keep back, to refuse.” When it comes to the relationships that we keep, we must establish some boundaries – biblical guidelines – that will determine who will choose to spend our time with. So, take a moment today to consider those individuals that you have decided to call your friends. Are they pulling you away from or pushing you towards Jesus Christ? Though it may seem hard to end a toxic relationship, the transformation that will take place because of your choice of better friends will definitely be worth it.

– written by Pastor Jay Overbay