The Bible has lots of advice on the type of people to surround yourself with. “Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble,”1 for example, and, “Do not be deceived: evil company corrupts good habits.”2
I’d usually taken that kind of scripture to mean “Don’t get involved with bad company who will push you to do drugs, steal, harm others, etc.” And, for sure, we should stay away from people caught up in those kinds of behaviors. But upon reflection, I’ve begun to grasp a further, more “everyday” understanding of this warning.
The other day, I read a very interesting article about moods. A study led by the University of Warwick indicated that, like a cold, good and bad moods can be “picked up” from those around you. “Evidence suggests moods may spread from person to person via a process known as social contagion,” said Public Health statistics researcher Rob Eyre, who led the study. In addition to good or bad moods, even symptoms of depression like helplessness and loss of interest can spread. As you would expect, friends and family have the greatest impact.
Day by day, the choices we make and the company we keep contribute to who we will become. God has wonderful, loving plans and a special, unique destiny for us to fulfill. So let’s not allow ourselves to soak up or disperse negative vibes, habits, or moods. Let’s find joy in good company and, at every opportunity, spread His love to others!
Be the living expression of God’s kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.—Mother Teresa (1910–1997)
Spread love to the north, kindness to the south, compassion to the east, and goodness to the west. Spread love throughout the whole world.—Matshona Dhliwayo
1. Proverbs 13:20 NLT
2. 1 Corinthians 15:33