I have discovered over the years that if you choose to willfully invest your time and energy into unhealthy relationships, you can expect to experience negative consequences. The Bible says it best in Proverbs 13:20, “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.” You don’t have to mirror their behavior. You don’t have to think the way they think. You don’t even have to participate in the things they participate in. However, being connected to a foolish person will eventually impact your life in a negative manner. Today, I want to share three signs that you are connected to the wrong individual or group.
- When you having opposing goals in life. One of the first signs that you’re connected to the wrong person or group is your lives are moving in two different directions. The Bible asked an interesting rhetorical question in Amos 3:3, “Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?” In other words, the only way to have harmony in a relationship is to be willing to travel in the same general direction in life. You don’t have to agree about everything but you do need to have similar goals. When your goals don’t match up, you are connected to the wrong person or group.
- When they become a source of temptation for you. When the person or group you associate with seems to always pressure you into things you feel uncomfortable participating in, you are connected to the wrong person or group. Proverbs 1:10 says it best, “My son, if sinners entice you, don not give in.” I was taught as a young child to steer clear of people, places, and things that I knew were a source of temptation in my life. When your circle of influence is pushing you in the wrong direction, you need to sever the connection.
- When they refuse to be honest with you. I believe real friends tell you the truth, even when it’s uncomfortable to do so. One of the worse kinds of people to invest your time and energy with are those who agree with everything you say and do, even when they know you’re headed for a fall. The Bible says in Proverbs 27:6, “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” A person who has your best interest at heart will tell you the painful truth because they are concerned about your well-being. One of the worse things you can do is surround yourself with a group of “yes men.” You need people in your circle of influence that will always tell you the truth.
In conclusion, I want to remind you that connections matter. The right connections can push you toward your goals in life. The wrong connections can draw you away from everything you hold so dear. I want to leave you with the words found in 1 Corinthians 15:33, “Do not be misled, bad company corrupts good character.”