Careful What You're Stepping In
Written by Bob Truesdale   
Thursday, 16 October 2014 14:25

                                                                                                                Careful what you’re stepping in.


     My niece is visiting from Vegas and since they don’t have a lot of woods and green grass, we decided on some outdoor fun yesterday, so we went horseback riding. Being thirteen, she was thrilled! We waited our turn, climbed onto our mounts and headed out. The trail wound through the scenic Adirondack Mountains and lasted about an hour. She absolutely loved it! I realized soon after starting I would have made a lousy cowboy, as my rear-end was aching the whole way. One of the more peculiar aspects of the trip was when the group stopped, my horse instinctively stopped or started without urging. I didn’t have to pull the reins to stop, or give her a kick to start walking. She just followed the leader. The Adirondacks are replete with tourists all summer so the place was crowded. Several groups had gone before us, so the trail was rife with piles of horse manure. I tried to steer my mare around the first several piles, but quickly gave up because there was so many and she wasn’t very cooperative. So she walked through several.

     The next afternoon on the way to lunch, my sister was taking advantage of a teaching opportunity to talk to her daughter about the influence of friends, both good and bad. She was explaining how important it was to choose wisely the company you keep because we have a strong tendency to act like those we spend most time with. It reminded me of the verse “Bad company corrupts good morals.” (1 Corinthians 15:33) I then related the story of the horses and the manure. I told my niece that when the ride was over, each of the horses had quite a bit of it caked to their hooves and legs. The manure stuck to them!  The opposite is true however, those who love and seek to please God can and will encourage us to line up our lives, habits and desires with His word and His will. This is simply a fact of life. That very same day I got a text from a friend of mine who spent her birthday weekend with a group of woman, better known as her fellowship group. They meet once a week and talk, pray and relate to each other’s lives. Their behavior over the weekend was embarrassing and not the least bit Christ- like, with the exception of my friend. When a guy in the next cabin commented on how much wild fun they were having, they boldly responded, “We’re a church group!” His response said it all, “I want to go to your church!” Were they being a witness? Absolutely, but not for Jesus Christ! We talked about how disappointing the weekend was and she’s decided to look for a new ‘fellowship’ group. I told her that was a very wise move!

     No Christian can go it alone, or endure bad company. We’re even warned against it in Hebrews 10:25 with a stern warning, “Do not forsake the gathering together with believers”. It is so easy to drift away from living the Christian life. If you skip all meals for just one day, you will find yourself very hungry by early afternoon. So it is with our Christian life. If we stop meeting with, praying with, and/or fellowshipping with other committed believers, we will drift away, oftentimes without being aware it’s even happening! The enemy of your soul is very committed to see that happen. He will stop at nothing to destroy your life and witness for Christ, and one of the most powerful ways he accomplishes that is through those you call friends! God does want you to spend time with others. He gives us friends who can encourage us, pray with and for us, and challenge us to live for Christ. We alone choose who we spend our time with. Our choice makes all the difference in the world! Choose wisely!