You are who you hang with…

 

Jax & Muggsy in backyard pre-flood

You are who you hang with. Did your parents ever tell you that? Mine did – more times than I can count! This morning I said it to Jax, our beagle dog. I got so tickled at myself after I did it, but it’s true for him too. Muggsy our malti-tzu was digging in the woods this morning, and you can imagine after all the rain we’ve had here what he – a white dog – looked like. So I couldn’t let him in the house because I didn’t have time to give him a bath. And I surely couldn’t let Jax in and leave Muggsy out. Jax was dirty too, just not as dirty. As I explained to them why they had to stay outside while I went to work, I looked at Jax and said, “And I’m sorry. You are who you hang with. You need to more careful choosing the company you associate with.” He looked at me with his typical, “Are you serious right now??” look. Muggsy was guilty. He had guilt written all over his mud-caked face. Jax was and always is the martyr. He could not believe he was being punished for something his brother did. All he did was hang out around the mud and sniff, so he only had mud on the tip of his nose. Muggsy went in full body. But Jax was judged based on the company he kept. He followed and got dirty, even if just a bit. You are who you hang with. They watched me get in the car and drive off with their longing, “poor neglected us” looks, and I chuckled at the spiritual application.

As Christians, we must be careful who we hang with. There’s a fine line between ministering to, witnessing to, and being Jesus to those who are involved in things we know are contrary to God’s Word. We can love on those folks without getting muddy. We can witness to them, encourage them, exhort them, without getting our nose dirty – and certainly without going in full body. You are who you hang with. Here are a few scriptures to help us with that…

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:1 & 2).

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).

Hope

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