Have you heard someone say something to this effect: Whoever you associate yourself with is the same type of person you are. So, if you hang out with drug addicts then you are one too. If you hang out with gamers then you are one too. And so on… I think you get the point.
If you haven’t been keeping up with the news about Aaron Hernandez, let me fill you in. He is (or was) a football player for the New England Patriots. He plays tight end and is very good. One of his friends was found murdered on June 17th. That same day, Hernandez seemed to cover up what happened by destroying his cell phone and the surveillance recordings at his mansion. That wasn’t enough. On June 26th, after a long investigation, several searches, and interviews, Aaron Hernandez was arrested and charged with first degree murder and several other gun related felonies. We don’t know if he is guilty or not, but the fact remains that he was arrested and charged.
As I have been reading and watching this story develop I couldn’t help but think about lost opportunities. Think about this scenario for a second. You grow up in a rough neighborhood. You are surrounded by crime and gangs. You have an opportunity to get out and stay out but you don’t. What do you expect is going to happen?
I’ll leave that answer up to you. I want to tell you another story.
Throughout the four gospels in the New Testament, Jesus was accused of being a drunkard and partier. He hung out with prostitutes and criminals. People saw what He was with and assumed He did the same things as everyone else. But Jesus was different. He came into the world to make a difference. He came to change the world not let the world change Him.
Jesus changed people. People turned away from their sinful habits and evil desires because they had an encounter with Jesus Christ. Jesus told them to go and sin no more after He healed them. Jesus turned the world upside down.
The Higher Ground
We need to learn from Jesus. When you have an opportunity to turn your life around, you need to take it. Turn away from the mistakes in your past. Turn away from evil desires. Be wary of the people you hang out with. Are they influencing your actions or are you influencing theirs?
What is the main point you should get from this? Change the world, don’t let the world change you!