Bowie Apostolic Church
Proverbs Day 4
Posted on January 7th, 2013

Environment is the Biggest Teacher: What Are You Learning?

Prov 20:19 He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets, Therefore do not associate with a gossip. 

Prov 22:5 Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse;  He who guards himself will be far from them.

Prov 22:24 Do not associate with a man given to anger; Or go with a hot-tempered man,
25 Or you will learn his ways And find a snare for yourself.

Prov 23:20 Do not be with heavy drinkers of wine, Or with gluttonous eaters of meat;
21 For the heavy drinker and the glutton will come to poverty, And drowsiness will clothe one with rags.

Prov 24:1 Do not be envious of evil men, Nor desire to be with them;
2 For their minds devise violence, And their lips talk of trouble.
(NASU)

Prov 24:21 My child, fear the Lord and the king. Don’t associate with rebels, 
22 for disaster will hit them suddenly. Who knows what punishment will come from the Lord and the king?
(NLT)
"Guilty by association."
"Birds of a feather flock together."
"When in Rome, do as the Romans do."

These are all common cliches that have been used in American culture for decades. What do all of these sayings have  to do with one another? They all deal with the environment and associations of an individual. They mean that your associations define your reputation and character. That you will often do different things depending on what the people around you are doing.

This speaks to something that we don't always think about, but we can all comprehend. It is about identity. Identity determines how you see yourself and who your associations are. It determines who you allow to have influence in your decision making and sense of worth and good standing. It affects where you want to live, what type of career you want to have, what your goals are and your belief whether you are able to achieve them.

We all have it. Whether we want to admit it or not we are all governed by it. The overarching identity that we should share is our identity with God. After all, He became like us so that we can be like Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). Therefore, above all things we should see ourselves as children of God, property of God and instruments of God.

This bible also says something else about our environment that is a big factor in preserving our identity with God: "bad company corrupts good character (1 Corinthians 15:33)." That being said, the aforementioned words of Proverbs lend themselves well to preserving our character and identity with our Holy and Righteous God.

The gossiper, the heavy drinker, the hot-tempered, the perverse and the rebel obviously do not fit into our singular and shared identity with God. This is not an exhaustive list, but we always have to be active about who we let into our circle of influence.

Our environment can have more influence on us than our teachers, our parents and our spiritual authorities. Environment is a teacher. It is our biggest teacher. What are we learning?

How do we combat the affects of our environments? Being in the presence of God in worship, bible reading and prayer always changes our environment as well. In fact, no matter where we are individually, if we concern ourselves with these things we will all have the same environment and experience with God. He is our teacher and we will all learn the same things.


Posted in Bible 2013, Proverbs    Tagged with environment, teacher, learning, character, identity


1 Comments

Sis. Mae - July 4th, 2013 at 7:57 PM
(Matthew 24:28) I was challenged: "Know what this means". Do you know?
For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

We are in the world (Jn 16:33; 15:19; 17:14-16) and cannot always choose or escape our environment. But like Jesus we can influence it for good/God.

Yes, we must establish boundaries; and yes, it's a blessing when we can take sweet counsel together and walk into the house of God in company with the Sons of God (Ps 55:14); but when involuntarily it seems the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me (to God Ps 139:11,12), and I can lighten and strengthen my internal environment by His Spirit and by prayer; meditation on His word; melodies in my heart... (Eph 3:16; 5:19).

COMPLETE: Prov 4:__; Put away from thee a froward mouth,...
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