Monday, March 17, 2008


How important are the relationships we choose to have? We have seen in the past few days among those running for office or are currently in office the importance of discernment when choosing who we spend time with. We are judged in light of those that we associate with.

I've read two articles just today that point out the importance of associations. According to the Barna Research Group, the most important relationship in the lives of Americans is not God but family. Overall, 7 out of 10 adults, according to Barna, mentioned family as their most important relationship. One out of 5 adults mention God (or any other type of deity) as an important relationship. I found this quite intriguing.

Another article by Phil Cooke on his blog, mentions that the perceptions others have about our associations can make or break us. He mentions those running for President of the United States and how endorsements, friendships and other associations have had an effect on them. It reminds me of the saying, "With friends like these, who needs enemies?"

I think about those that I spend time with and am I helping my witness? Do those that see me see Christ in the those that I am associated with. During his three-year ministry, Christ spent time with those that religious leaders had already condemned (prostitutes, cheaters, etc.) but we don't see them negatively affecting the life of Christ. Where do we draw the line on those we spend time with?

I believe it goes back to our character. Our character determines how others perceive us and our character, if it is strong enough, is not affected by those that we come into contact with. Christ's character remained unchanged even though he was surrounded by those that may have had questionable lifestyles. If you are the type that can be easily brought down to a lower level just by those who you "hang" with, you may want to rethink your relationships.

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