“Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you cross over the Jordan into the land of Canaan, then you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their figured stones, and destroy all their molten images and demolish all their high places; and you shall take possession of the land and live in it, for I have given the land to you to possess it. But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall come about that those whom you let remain of them will become as pricks in your eyes and as thorns in your sides, and they will trouble you in the land in which you live. Numbers 33:51-53, 55
You may not be able to separate yourself from a sinful world, but you can sanctify your heart as you walk through it. Who and what you allow around you will eventually find its way into you. This is what God was saying about letting the culture of sin enter or remain within your environment. I have spent a career working for a secular media company and I can say for certainty that some stains of the environment eventually rubbed onto me. And the qualities of Christlike Character eventually rub off of you and into the environment. To be a light in the world, you will live and work in darkness at times. Sometimes you will find strength looking for other lights in the darkness to associate with. In order for Jesus to set the prisoners free during the three days he was in the tomb, he had to journey to hell.
There will be factors within and without your control throughout your work-life. As far as it depends on you, drive out anything inappropriate and keep your environment clean. If you encounter seasons of life where sin creeps in, turning to the cross can cleans you and keep you on the path to righteousness with a clean conscience through repentance and returning.
The Apostle Paul once said, ‘Bad company corrupts good character’. This is true for kids and adults. God is reminding us to watch the company we keep because we become like the people we consistently hang out with. Who do you allow into your inner circle?
REFLECT TO CONNECT
- How would you characterize your work and friendship circle of influence?
- With whom or with which groups do you feel a nudging to start associating with?
- What relationship is God speaking to you about, are there people you need to say good bye to?
Principle: Who and what you allow around you will eventually find its way into you.