Have you ever hugged someone wearing a lot of perfume or cologne, then walked away smelling like them?
This is a great picture of how our associations with others can rub off on us. Being careful of who we associate ourselves with is one of the best ways we can guard our heart.
Associating with people who complain, are bitter, or have a bad attitude can affect our heart. As result, we can find ourselves unintentionally responding with those same offenses.
Proverbs 13:20 NIV says, “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.”
I recall a time when I had to carpool to a jobsite with a colleague and he complained the entire time. I felt like it affected my heart and mind. When I got home, I took a shower to wash the feeling off – Have you ever experienced that?
Jim Rohn, renowned businessman and motivational speaker claims… “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” If that’s true, then our associations matter.
Some relationships are our choice – our sphere of influence, friends, or mentors.
…some are not our choice – family, coworker, or clients.
When we don’t have an option, my advice is this:
- Limit your time with them.
- Spend more time with encouraging, life-giving people than you do with negative people.
Proverbs 12:26 – “A righteous man is cautious in friendship, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.”
Proverbs 22:24-25 NIV- Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.
Let’s be people that are so encouraging and positive, choosing the right attitude. When we behave and talk this way, we protect other people. Don’t be the one that affects another person’s heart negatively.
Who do you associate yourself with? Do you walk away feeling refreshed or do you carry a bad odor you want to wash off? Are those relationships positive or negative?
Let’s guard our heart by pursuing healthy life-giving associations.