Each year, people come and go within our lives. Some can be there to stay while others are temporary. Sometimes it’s hard to know who of which God placed in our lives to be a friend or a lesson.

Oftentimes, we keep people around who hinder us from being the best versions of ourselves. They bring us down, pull us away from God, and make us question who we are and what we believe. We need to know the difference between these people and those of which that encourage, love, and support us. Here’s how you can use the Bible to you help tell the difference between the two!

Those to Keep Around:

When it comes to those you want and need in your life, God gives you hints throughout the Bible of who is best to surround yourselves with! In 1 Thessalonians 5:11, it says, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are in the habit of doing.” Who in your life helps you be a better you? Who makes you feel confident, loved, and happy?

A lot of the time, we’re just as happy and joyful as the people we surround ourselves with. That’s why we should make a conscious effort to be around those that make us feel refreshed, instead of drained.

We also need to acknowledge who in our lives is a source of wisdom and sound advice for us to go to. Maybe that’s a parent for you or a best friend you’ve had for years. Maybe it’s a friend from church or an older relative. Whoever it may be, we need people to listen and give advice for the harder times in life. Sometimes it’s okay to admit we can’t do it alone.

Those to Let Go:

Whether we like to admit it or not, life is short. It’s too short to keep people in your life when they constantly bring you down or pull you away from God. God also touches on this in the Bible. 1 Corinthians 15:33 says, “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.’” When you walk alongside people that you shouldn’t, you start to be affected whether you realize it or not.

This verse is similar to Proverbs 13:20. It says, “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” The Bible stresses the importance of surrounding yourself with wise, godly people. Why live your life alongside people who are constantly tearing you down and making you stumble in your walk with the Lord?

I know that it’s harder in different situations, but I also know that there’s nothing wrong with distancing yourself from the people that negatively affect you. Always extend forgiveness and show love, but also look out for yourself when you need to!

So, think about your life. How can you start surrounding yourself with people that love and encourage you? Don’t be afraid to take that step. Help shape a better you while helping those around you in the process!

– Chelsea