The company you keep

The apostles had a choice of going back to their homes and falling back into their old lives after Jesus departed the earth

The Bible

Bible verse for today: Acts 4:23 "On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them." (NIV)

Public speakers will always say your habits are not the product of the decision you make but the company you keep. A person's spirituality is tested not when he's under compulsion to serve God but what he does when he isn't under any obligation or in fulfilment of any kind of moral duty.

The apostles had a choice of going back to their homes and falling back into their old lives after Jesus departed the earth rather they chose to propagate the message of Christ to every corner of the earth. And not one of them was discouraged despite the trial and tribulations they faced.

The Word for Today devotional by United Christian Broadcasters (UCB) says:

We all have our ‘own company’. It’s where we feel most at home, where we naturally gravitate to when we have the choice. The great Bible teacher A. W. Tozer once said, ‘The important thing about a man is not where he goes when he is compelled to go, but where he goes when he is free to go where he will.’ The apostles went to jail under compulsion, but when they were given their liberty they chose to return to ‘…their own company…’ of praying believers. How revealing! The clear choices of life—not the compulsions—reveal our true character. Let’s consider a real-life illustration. You’re absent from church on Sunday. Where are you? If you’re having surgery, your absence reveals that you’re ill and compelled to miss church.

However, if you’re on the golf course, that tells us a different story. Assuming that you’re not on a well-deserved vacation, we know that you chose to skip church in favour of your ‘own company’—your fellow golfers. Has your choice to play instead of to pray become a habit? If so, you might be on the threshold of letting slip ‘…meeting together with other believers, which some people have got into the habit of doing…’ (Hebrews 10:25 CEB). Habits are not the product of one decision—they’re the result of repeated choices that eventually become automatic responses. How can you know your true spiritual condition? By the company you keep and the choices you make. When you’re free to go, where do you choose to go? Whose company do you prefer?

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