I read the most interesting quote recently. It said, “You cannot change the people around you, but you can change the people around you.” Think about that. So often, we go into relationships and/or friendships thinking that we can change that person into becoming who we want them to be. But, inevitably, we must realize that we cannot control the thoughts and actions of others. Our Christian example can be an influence on others, but ultimately, each of us is responsible for what we say and what we do.
Paul discussed the power of those that we are around when he said, “Do not be deceived, evil company corrupts good morals” (I Corinthians 15:33). When we’re around negative people, we tend to become negative. When we’re around those who take the Lord’s name in vain or cuss on a regular basis, then when “life happens” to us, what’s the first thing that comes to mind (or out the lips)? There are times when the answer is to not try to change the people that we are around, but we need to change the people around us! We need to surround ourselves with people who are going to help us go to heaven. We need to be around those who make us better people. As Paul encouraged his son in the faith, Timothy when he urged him to “be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (I Timothy 4:12). You are responsible for yourself! You cannot change the people around you, but you can change the people around you. Simply blessed, Courtney