Psalm 119:61 – Evil people try to drag me into sin, but I am firmly anchored to your instructions. (NLT)
After a few weeks of hanging around with him, I began to wonder who was influencing whom. My father had just returned to the denomination of his upbringing and had been called as interim pastor at the church that he had attended as a young boy. The first person to offer his friendship to me was Michael. He was the son of the chairman of deacons. Who better to hang around with? I thought. I soon discovered that he wasn't involved in anything that would enhance my spiritual journey, but I chose to follow his lead anyway. Before long, I was drinking. Then, I began cutting school and experimenting with drugs. I liked Michael, but there came a time when our paths separated. I knew that he wasn't a good influence, but instead of influencing him, I let him influence me.
Evil people will always drag me down with their offers if I let them, offers like: There's nothing wrong with having someone on the side besides your wife. Spend the money you make. You've earned it. Your family won't miss it. Religion is for those who can't handle life. You don't have to take what your boss is dishing out. Tell him to take that job and shove it. Why work? Live off the government. Everyone else is. These pills will help you get through the day. They won't harm you. On and on, the evil messages come.
The psalmist's answer to evil people's attempts to drag him down was to be firmly rooted in God's instructions. Not a bad idea. God's Word relates His expectations and guidelines. Through introspection, I can determine if and where I'm falling short. When I determine what's keeping me from living up to God's commands and leading me astray, I should investigate the source of my failures. In high school, it was a friend — a good boy, but a bad influence.
Once I've discovered the source of my problem, I must do something about it. For me, it was saying goodbye to a friendship. If you're being influenced by ungodly offers, what steps can you take to be the influencer?
Prayer: Father, help us to shine Your light into others' lives rather than travelling their wicked ways. Amen.
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