Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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Solomon and Paul agreed; we live in a spiritual world, and the spirits around us will influence our choices in life. Solomon said it this way: "He who walks with wise men shall be wise, but a companion of fools shall be destroyed" (Prov. 13:20). Paul said it this way:"Do not be deceived; evil associations corrupt good behavior" (1Cor. 15:33).
Preacher Clark had another way of making the same point. In his sermon that long ago Sunday afternoon, he said, "spirits are more catching than diseases." In other words, if you want to be spiritually healthy, then stay away from spiritually sick people. You can catch the disease of sin.
If you want to be good, then invest your time around good people. If you want to be holy, then seek out holy people and spend your days around them. It will not be what you see and hear that most will influence your spirit; rather, it will be what your spirit feels. (The influence of their spirits is what you are seeking, not their intelligence or natural abilities.) Their spirits will influence your attitude toward life, your desires for the future, and your methods - all the things that really get you somewhere with God.
The existence of influence is undeniable; it is a reality from which none of us on earth can possibly escape. The only issue is, by whom will we choose to be influenced?