The people that we involve ourselves with have a impact on us and our lives. The kind of impact that they have varies. They can be good for us or they can be bad for us. They can lift us up and help us to be our best or they can tear us down and help us self destruct. They can make our day better or worse. And the ones that are not good for us we have to love from a distance for well being of ourselves.
I remember when my mom use to tell me all the time that it was the people that I hung around that were influencing me to do the things that I was doing. I always thought that she didn’t know what she was talking about because I was my own person and nobody else controlled me. I thought I was so smart, but oh how wrong I was. It took me years to fully understand what she meant but I wish that I would have listened to her. I have had many experiences with other people that have caused big problems in my life but I want to talk to you today about how being around a negative person can effect you. I think that it is one of the most common impacts that people have on other people.
I had a friend from childhood that I cared deeply about. She was going threw some hard times and started struggling with depression. She would come to me to vent and just talk about what she was going through because I was a good listener. She said that I lifted her up when she was around me. She would say that I was such a happy and positive person and that I gave her a different way to look at things. I was glad that I could help her and I didn’t mind listening to her problems. Well as time went on and I listened to her complaining all the time, about everything, I noticed that I started to think about and voice my aches and pains and other things that bothered me. I noticed that I started to feel negative emotions that I really didn’t have a reason to feel. I started to see some of the negatives in situations instead of always looking at the positive. But I still was not connecting the dots.
One day when she walked into my house I immediately felt a dreadful heaviness in my heart. My mood instantly changed. And it was then that I realized what my problem had been. I was around her too much and she was rubbing off on me. She was having a negative impact on me and I had to do something about it. But what do I do? I didn’t want to hurt her feelings by telling her that she was dragging me down with her. I didn’t want to tell her that I couldn’t be around her anymore because she was so negative. But I had to do something because I was beginning to feel depression in my own spirit. Plus I was not being a positive influence on her anymore.
I ended up telling her about the depression that I had been feeling and that I was going to have to take some time to myself so that I could get myself together. I told her that I would not be able to hang out for some time and that I would only be able to talk to her every few days. After a couple of days had passed from not hanging out with her I began to feel better although I hadn’t changed anything that I was doing yet. It took some work to shake off the negative affect that she had on me but I was able to get back to myself again. I knew that I could not go back to that close of a relationship with her and that I would have to love her from a distance to a point. We are still friends to this day. Now I know that I can only handle her in small doses.
As Christians we are to love everyone. But we do not have to be involved with everyone on a day to day bases either. I am not suggesting that we have nothing to do with some type of people at all. I am saying that we have to be mindful who we allow to be a part of our everyday life. For example, I know several people that I am friendly with that live a lifestyle that is not good. But just because they are making bad choices does not mean that I do not like them or that I am judging them. But I know that there has to be boundaries in my involvement with them.
I hope that this experience I shared with you is a good practical example of how others have an affect on us. Some people can be lead into some dark places and trouble by the people that they involve themselves with. I have seen people go to prison all because they were with someone else that did a crime and they knew the person did it. I have seen people talked into doing things by the people they hang around. I have seen people have a less valuable life all because who they hung around had that kind of life. And I have seen people completely turn themselves and their life around because of the positive impact that someone had on them. My point is that who we involve ourselves with can have an impact on us. We must choose to involve ourselves with the right kind of people and to love some people from a distance.