“Evil people try to drag me into sin, but I am firmly anchored to your instructions.” Psalm 119:61 NLT
After a few weeks of hanging around with him, I began to wonder who was influencing who. My father had just returned to the denomination of his upbringing and had been called as interim pastor at the church he attended as a young boy. The first person to offer his friendship was Michael. He was the chairman of deacon’s son. Who better to hang around with, I thought. I soon discovered he wasn’t involved in anything that would enhance my spiritual journey, but I choose to follow his lead anyway. Before long, I was drinking. Then I began cutting school and experimenting with drugs. I liked Michael, but there came a time when our paths separated. I knew he wasn’t a good influence, but instead of influencing him, I let him influence me.
Evil people will always drag me down with their offers if I let them. There’s nothing wrong with having someone on the side besides your wife. Spend the money you make. You earned it. Your family won’t miss it. Religion is for those who can’t handle life. You don’t have to take what your boss is dishing out. Tell him to take that job and shove it. Why work? Live off the government. Everyone else is. These pills will help you get through the day. They won’t harm you. On and on the evil messages come.
The psalmist’s answer to evil people’s attempts to drag him down was to be firmly rooted in God’s instructions. Not a bad idea. God’s Word relates his expectations and guidelines. Through introspection, I can determine if and where I’m falling short. When I determine what’s keeping me from living up to God’s commands and leading me astray, I should investigate the source of my failures. In high school, it was a friend-a good boy but a bad influence.
Once I’ve discovered the source of my problem, I must do something about it. For me, it was saying goodbye to a friendship. If you’re being influenced by ungodly offers, what’s steps can you take to be the influencer?
Prayer: Father, help us shine Your light into other’s lives rather than travel their wicked ways.
Martin Wiles Hodges, South Carolina, USA