"Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble."
Proverbs 13:20 NLT
My son came home from school one day. He had gotten into trouble. When I asked him what happened, it was obvious that hanging out with troublemakers had gotten him in trouble. He reminded me of me. I used to hang out with a crowd of "friends" that liked to drink, do drugs and loved immorality. The problem was, I did too. We influenced one another in all of the wrong ways. When I became a Christian and really tried to follow Christ, my "friends" left me.
I know that Jesus associated with people that were considered "sinners." In fact we're all sinners. Christians have been forgiven, and saved by grace. That's the difference. Jesus was not influenced for evil by the people He hung out with. In fact, He influenced people toward following God. I'm not saying that we should be exclusive snobs. But the fact is, many of us are influenced by the people we hang out with. Our friends and even our associates, have influence in our lives. Not necessarily over our lives, but certainly in our lives. In our decisions. How we act.
The truth is, if you want to excel in something, associate with people that bring out the best in you. If you want to be a better Christian, find a mentor that you would aspire to be like. If you want to be a better athlete, associate with great athletes or trainers. If you want to excel in business, find the best in the field, and follow them. You get the point. Who you are and become, is largely influenced by who you spend time with.
So, who are you hanging out with? Who are your mentors? Who are you investing in? What examples are you following?