“A shark in a fish tank will grow eight inches but in the ocean it will grow to eight feet or more. The shark will never outgrow its own environment and the same is true about you. Many times we’re around small thinking people so we don’t grow. Change your environment and watch your growth.” ~ Bob Harrison
I do not think that we give a thought, very often, to the people with whom we associate on a regular basis. We would probably say, if asked, that we associate with them because we share common backgrounds, common ambitions, common goals, and the like. Whenever we look at our relationships with others, we probably just try to see how they help us to be who we want to be and get what we want to get.
But is who we are and what we are getting a part of God’s plan? Ah. How many of us have ever thought about that? When we hang around the wrong kind of people, we are setting ourselves up not for growth but, perhaps, stagnation. When we allow the others around us to sway us to do things against our conscience, morals, or faith, we are not doing ourselves any good at all. Instead, we are doing our souls a huge disservice.
We have to be very careful about the environment in which we place ourselves. If we are going to be the best disciples possible, our environment needs to be faith based. We need to associate with others who are living the faith. We need to associate with those who will allow us and encourage us to live our faiths to the best of our ability.
This might mean that, in looking about our lives and our relationships, we might have to sever ties with certain people. There might be a person or more whom we really like to be around and who entertains us. But, at the same time, we might always ask ourselves at the end of the day, “Why did I let that person lead me to do what I did?”
If someone or some group leads us astray, we might enjoy the ride but we will surely suffer the consequences for our decisions. Our enjoyment will be temporal. But, if we mess up too badly, the consequences could be eternal.
We need to assess and monitor our environment often. And if we find that we have placed ourselves in an environment that is leading us astray, we need to do whatever is necessary to get ourselves out of the toxic environment and into an environment that will help us to be the best Christians possible.
FAITH ACTION: Assess the people with whom you associate on a regular basis. Are they providing the proper environment for you and are you providing the proper environment for them?