Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” 1 Corinthians 15:33

It isn’t good for us to be alone. Even at creation God saw that all was good except for the fact that man was alone. He needed a companion that he could share the good and the bad with. So God created woman to stand at his side as his equal partner in life.

Today the one thing each of us still craves is relationship. We want to belong to something, to someone. We seek a cause that we can believe in and pursue because it makes us feel important. Our self worth gives us identity. It could be through a church, a relationship, a job anything that makes us feel worthy.

Jesus tells us we are to be the salt of the earth. For salt to be useful it must be in contact with the item to be salted. It intermingles, adds flavor and preserves. But salt is always salt. It doesn’t take on the quality of the item salted but enhances the positive aspects of the item salted.

Jesus also warns that salt can lose its ‘saltiness’ and become useless. It breaks down and loses its identity. Rather than maintaining its saltiness it takes on the attributes of the substance surrounding it. The salt no longer enhances the flavor or preserves as it once did.

As Christ-followers we need to be careful when we are in the world. It is too easy to get drawn into the negative attitudes about other people or those who are different than us. In an effort to reach out to those struggling with sin it seems right to downplay the sin in an effort to win the sinner.

Paul tells us in Galatians 6:1 that when we catch someone in sin we are to restore them gently, but the second part of that verse is a warning. We ourselves are in danger of sinning when we put ourselves in situations where temptations to judge, have a critical spirit or allowing pride to overtake us.

When Paul wrote to the Corinthian church he warned them that constant affiliation with those who were negative, judgmental or lax in their spiritual drive could pull us down. Are we to avoid such people? NO! We need to temper the negative with a strong drive to draw close to Jesus through our personal Bible Study and Prayer and by building a wall of positive influence around us made up of small group and corporate worship and prayer.

When we allow negative thoughts and negative attitudes to influence the way we act or think it robs us of our self esteem, our self identity and the dreams we have. Jesus’ ways are built on love and compassion not on critical spirits and verbal and emotional attacks. As a Christ-follower we are called to built up not tear down, to encourage not berate, to seek the positive in every situation and not dwell on the negative.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus. I get so frustrated by seeing the way in which people abuse each other and seem to take advantage of your love and Forgiveness. To make matters worse I have found my own attitude has become negative and angry with people I disagree with. As a result I am guilty of the very thing that I detest. Forgive me for my judgmental attitude, my critical spirit and my hatred. Empower me with your Spirit to love unconditionally and forgive freely. Help to continue to build a close relationship with you and other believers so that I can live in the freedom you have given me and accomplish all you have in store for my life. Amen.

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