Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. Psalm 1:1 (NLT)
Sometimes, we live life not even realizing what or who has caused us to not live with the joy and happiness that all of us deserve! Many times, our lives are devoid of joy and happiness simply because of the friendships and associations we maintain! However, when we desire to live the life that God blesses and ensures our joy and happiness we must be mindful to do the following things: (1) Oftentimes, when plagued with tough decisions or difficult situations, our first reaction is to consult others for advice or direction! When we do, we have to understand that all advice is not good advice! If advised to engage in a behavior which is inconsistent with the nature and character of God, we should dismiss the advice and the person from our lives! As such, we must seek godly mentors, spiritual leaders and God, himself, for clarity and direction! (2) One thing we cannot deny is that we are all sinners! However, we must be careful of engaging in friendships where people intentionally and openly live a sinful life while showing no signs of remorse or effort to correct their behavior! Thus, we must surround ourselves with friendships which encourages an upright and righteous way of living! (3) Usually, when tend to think demeaning or mocking others isn’t harmful especially if we are with our friends! However, when we engage in conversations which fail to uplift others, it says a lot about our self-worth! More importantly, it isn’t Christ-like at all! As such, we were all created equal and devaluing others is an offense to God! So, if we want to restore joy and happiness in our lives, doing so lies in our ability to avoid toxic relationships! Many times, because we enjoy our friendships, we fail to recognize that they are killing us from the inside out!