S20P11 – The obstacles to faith: bad fellowship

Prov. 27:17
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.

We have reviewed several scriptures this year that instruct us to fellowship with the Church at large. Today’s scripture gives us not only instruction in that respect but also a warning regarding with whom we choose to fellowship. Just as a good iron will sharpen another, there are things that instead will make an iron dull. This is not only a lesson in metalworking but also a lesson in spiritual growth. That is why we must be careful when we choose to fellowship with those who do not add spiritual value to our lives.

In my walk, I have often asked God to direct me in how to choose whose company I share. I have found it to be a good rule of thumb to gauge my interaction with others based on influence. Whether I’m spending time with a believer or a non-believer, I must be vigilant to pay attention to whether that person’s influence on me is spiritually positive. There are times when God will call us to have personal relationships with individuals who are not Christians for the sake of leading them to Christ. But when that individual influences us for the bad more than we influence him or her for the good, then it is time to reconsider that relationship.

In all of our personal relationships, it is important to seek God’s direction and discernment for the ones that are of a spiritual detriment to us. Although He will use us to seek out the lost and lead them to Christ, God does not intend that we become molded to the ways of the world. God’s intention is for us to experience continual growth in the spirit so that we are made more and more like him. He desires for our irons to be sharp. Father, give us discernment in our personal relationships to know when we are being sharpened and when we are being made dull, and give us the wisdom and courage to make the tough decisions regarding who we welcome into our lives.