Simple Sisters Series: The Garden of Friends

“Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.””
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:33‬ ‭ESV‬‬

The company we keep is crucial on the path we walk in life. The apostle Paul's words in 1 Corinthians 15:33 ring true today: "Do not be deceived: 'Bad company ruins good morals.'" This wisdom invites us to reflect on the influences in our lives and how they shape our walk with God.Imagine your life as a garden. Each relationship you nurture is a plant in this garden. 

Some relationships are like vibrant flowers, bringing beauty and joy into the view of our days. Others might be like sturdy trees, offering support and shelter. However – some can be weeds, threatening to choke out the good growth. 

So how do we cultivate a garden that glorifies God? We must be intentional about the relationships we nurture, being careful of not cultivating a garden of weeds. Every plant has it's own planned purpose, producing blooms or fruits. As we grow in years, our ability to identify weeds from blossoms become more clear. We no longer tolerate the mess of weeds because we know how quickly they spread and choke out all that is good. We understand the blossom of a weed is not the same as the blossom of a flowering plant of produce. 

Ask yourself: 
Do my friends draw me closer to Christ or pull me away? 
Do they encourage my faith or challenge it negatively? 
The answer to these questions can help you discern which relationships to invest in deeply.

Remember, not everyone who enters your life is meant to stay forever. Some are seasonal, bringing specific lessons or experiences. Others are perennial, growing alongside you through various seasons of life. 

Pray for discernment to recognize the role each person plays in your spiritual journey. As you evaluate your relationships, don't be discouraged if you find some that don't align with your faith goals. Instead, see it as an opportunity for growth as you establish boundaries that create health borders around your "flower beds" of relationships. Perhaps God is calling you to be a blossom in someone's life, or maybe He's prompting you to seek out new, uplifting friendships to invite into your own garden. 

Cultivating godly friendships as an adult isn't always easy, but it's worth the effort. Wisdom and discernment are two foundational ways we create new connections with others. Praying, asking God to show us who He has planned for us to connect with, doing our part to be authentically ourself in order to create other authentic connections. It's so important we show up as we are in order for others to see us for who we are, not who we wish to be or used to be.  

These relationships can be a source of encouragement, accountability, and spiritual growth. They can challenge you to dive deeper into God's Word, pray more fervently, and live out your faith more boldly.

As you tend to your garden of relationships, remember that Jesus is the master gardener. He knows exactly what your soul needs to flourish. Trust Him to guide you, prune what's necessary, and help new, life-giving relationships bloom.

Let's pray: Lord, grant us wisdom in our friendships. Help us cultivate relationships that draw us closer to You and reflect Your love to others. Give us Your eyes to see who You have brought into our Garden. Help us grow in our authentic blooms so we can share from a pure heart and mind, that others may see the awesomeness of You are our Creator, Healer and King. You are the Master Gardner and we trust Your pruning and planting. In Your Son's Amazing Name, Amen.

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Heart Hugs and Blessings,