I enjoy fresh vegetables and fresh herbs for cooking, so I have a vegetable garden that provides me with fresh produce every year.
But, there are always pesky animals that have a tendency to steal and destroy the vegetation if I don’t keep them out. I must take measures to discourage them because, not only will some of them snag the veggies, animals such as skunks, raccoons, foxes and bats carry deadly viruses that can be left behind to harm the vegetation or me, if I come in contact with them.
I put up fences to keep these animals out of my garden. I don’t want them taking away my harvest or depositing disease-ridden waste into and onto the precious vegetables I intend to eat.
I take care to keep harmful insects out of the garden because I want my produce to be healthy and delicious. Today, I started thinking about how much I do to protect my garden, which then led me to wonder whether or not I take the same level of precautions when dealing with my general welfare. Fortunately, most of the people I hang out with are truly righteous people. I think that is because I learned a long time ago, a very important biblical lesson.
Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.Proverbs 22:24-25
We all make mistakes
Friends, I am not perfect and I certainly don’t expect anyone to be perfect. But, I know what is right and I know what is wrong.
We all make mistakes. There is no doubt about that. However, the positive side of mistakes comes from the times we learn from our mistakes and we don’t let mistakes hamper us down. Friends, where I’m going with today’s message is to say that the people we allow into our life, be they good or bad, are the people who are going to help shape our life.
I don’t let critters into my garden because I don’t want them to soil the garden. I don’t want them to pull up, chew up, or mess up the hearty growth in my garden.
Likewise, I no longer (knowingly) let “bad” people into my life. I don’t want them bringing me down, messing up my life, and steering me in the wrong direction.
Bad begets bad
I am generally an even-tempered person. But, at one time in my life I hung out with someone who had a really bad temper. We went shopping at the mall for new outfits for a New Year celebration. The store we chose to enter was a high-end store that had advertised 60% to 70% discounts. I was anxious to see what they had to offer. Upon entering, I was very happy with the selection of clothes and the prices were very affordable. But, my friend could not find anything she liked so she became boisterous and angry. She started yelling at the sales lady who was helping us… yelling about why they didn’t have a certain dress in her color and her size. Swear words were coming out of her mouth and whatnot. All I could figure doing was to pay for my outfit and then sit and wait for her outside the dressing room. While I was sitting, I kept thinking about how there were other stores in the mall and how, in any event, there was no need to be THAT upset over clothes. This person is actually a really kind-hearted person (so long as things are going her way). However, as I spent more time with her, I began to notice that I, too, started becoming a little short-tempered over the littlest of things. Thank the Lord that I finally realized it was time to cut ties with her. Friends, once we make a good decision, it is amazing how the Lord has a way of making things like this easy. As it were, I got married and moved out of the area. This made it difficult to continue our association. Thank goodness for the distance that was placed between us because I learned that my demeanor was better. I went back to putting life situations into perspective, realizing that I don’t have to be upset at everything that does not go my way.
Cutting this person out of my life was a good thing. Had I kept her in my life, who knows, today I might be living as an angry person like her.
Surround yourself with goodness!
Friends, don’t let bad people stay in your life, otherwise, like you read in Proverbs 22:24-25 you might end up becoming like them.
Psychologists say we become like the five people we hang out with the most. I urge you to choose your friends wisely. Look at them. See how they act. See how they make you feel. If they make you feel bad, delete them! On the other hand, if they fit into the righteous lifestyle you try to live, keep them! Learn from them! Strive to be like them!
Surround yourself with goodness so goodness surrounds you.