Have you ever noticed how your mood or motivation changes depending upon who you’re around at that moment?
In one sense, you could feel down and sorry about yourself, and if you come into contact with the right person, they can quickly have you feel like you can take on the whole world.
In another sense, you could feel motivated and confident in yourself and when a particular person comes along, they somehow manage to bring out the worst in you.
The Apostle Paul, in writing to the Corinthians is 1 Corinthians 15:33 writes, “Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
He was specifically warning the people of the church not to listen to people who were saying that Jesus didn’t actually rise from the dead, but the broader theme has implications for us as men as well.
We must make sure that the company we keep is company worth having. Do the people around us push us to better ourselves? Or do they try to bring you down?
Many people try to keep their friends down in an effort to feel better about themselves. They don’t want you to get better because you’ll make them feel inferior.
We must heed Paul’s advice and rid these people from our lives. Like a bad apple, they will surely poison the whole bunch.
It may seem like subtle “ball-busting”, but these men mean to bring you down. These are the type of people who will question your manhood for not wanting to go out drinking with them. They’ll think something is wrong with you because you don’t want to watch porn everyday anymore like they do.
I’ve been in this situation and I’m sure you have too. You set goals for yourself, strive to improve areas of your life, but once you connect with certain people, it all goes out the window.
If we are to thrive as men and throw off the hindrances that hold us down, we must seek out men who will enrich our lives and push us to be the best versions of ourselves.
These types of men won’t let you make excuses, they’ll call you out when you try to believe your own BS. They will keep you accountable and make sure you’re walking the walk and not just talking the talk. They will support you and encourage you to continually be improving.
These men are true brothers.
Find men who will build your character, not corrupt your character.
Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”
We must surround ourselves with men who will sharpen us, not dull us. Our company should build us up, not bring us down to their level.
Where can you find men like this?
You must look for places where men are still men. Hopefully, your church has strong, male leadership and hasn’t become feminized like so many modern churches have become. For me, there’s great men in my church that push me, pray for me, and support me. We keep each other accountable and make sure we’re accountable to God as well.
Another place to find men of good character is in a fraternity. I have found lifelong brothers in my Masonic Lodge. We come together to “take good men and make them better.”
I recently joined a fraternity of exceptional men called the Fraternity of Excellence. It is a brotherhood of men who learn together, provide accountability, tough love, and don’t let a man fall behind. We push each other to better fathers, husbands, and men. We push one another to get fit and strong, both physically and emotionally. We provide a place for men to build and practice the virtues that make us men. If you aren’t yet a member, I highly recommend you join.
If we surround ourselves with negative, manipulative, and mediocre men, we ourselves will become average. We will sink to the lowest common denominator.
But, if you associate with men of good character, upright morals, and Biblical values, you will be forced to rise to occasion and become the man you’re capable of becoming and the type of man God wants you to be.
So I challenge you, brothers, to examine the company you keep. Are they corrupting your character? Or are they building your character?