You may have heard the saying “birds of a feather flock together”, meaning people who have the same characteristics / beliefs / tastes and interests often associate with each other. Tell me who your friends are, and in many ways, I’ll tell you who you are*.
Over the years I’ve noticed that people “flock” in different ways:
- What authors do you read?
- What songs do you sing?
- What podcasts to you listen too?
- What books to you quote from?
- What conferences do you attend?
- Where do you get your news?
- Who do you follow on social media?
- Who do you shake your head in agreement with?
All these inputs shape our world view. This is one of the reason scripture warns about the friends and company we keep.
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. Psalms 1:1
“Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” – Proverbs 13:20
Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” – 1 Corinthians 15:33
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? – 2 Corinthians 6:14
*Who you minister TOO is different than who you partner WITH.
Jesus hung out with tax collector, prostitutes and sinners (Luke 15:1-2, Mathew 21:31-32). Who to minister too is a different matter entirely. Even then, when we do likewise, we need to watch ourselves, lest we too fall. (1 Corinthians 10:12)
Just because someone claims to be spiritual or has a Christian ministry, doesn’t automatically make them a good ministry partner. There are such things as wolves in sheep’s clothing. You don’t want to be partnering with whom you should be warning the flock about.
Jesus himself warns us to be on guard for false prophets that lead people astray (Mark 13:22-23).
For the sake of “unity”, Jesus didn’t team up with the Pharisees and Sadducees to build a coalition of like-minded ministries. Instead he rebuked them, call them hypocrites, whitewashed tombs, a brood of vipers (Matthew 23), liars, then told them that their father was the devil (John 8:44).
Paul, though he rejoiced when Christ was preached….even when he knew preachers had questionable motives (Philippians 1:15-18)…he was quick and clear to call out false teachers and rebuke them sharply (Titus 1:13), by name (2 Timothy 2:15-18), and even call those who turn people to “another gospel” accursed (Galatians 1:6-9).
People change…and so do ministries.
Look before you leap. Then keep looking, and reevaluate from time to time.
Just because someone starts out on the right track, doesn’t mean they end there.