It is difficult to say just how critical our connections with other people are. Our paths cross with those from many backgrounds and we are naturally drawn to some more than others. Since the field of acquaintances over a lifetime is vast, it is a good idea to have a basic rule for governing those to whom we will join ourselves.
Read Second Chronicles, chapter twenty-one. When King Jehoshaphat died he left silver and gold to his children but, to his firstborn, he gave the Kingdom—his eldest child became king. Jehoshaphat was a righteous though not perfect king. His legacy should have meant more righteous leadership for the throne of Judah. Instead, his firstborn son “strengthened himself” by murdering his brothers and sisters as well as others connected to Judah’s leadership. In verse six the new king is compared in wickedness to kings of the Northern Kingdom, specifically Ahab—“for he had the daughter of Ahab as a wife, and he did evil in the sight of the Lord.” To have Ahab’s daughter as wife is to have the influence of Jezebel near—not a good connection. The next verse explains something of how it is that those who insist upon blatant rebellion against the Lord, even to the extreme as in the case of Jehoshaphat’s son, are not destroyed on the spot: “Yet the Lord would not destroy the house of David, because of the covenant He had made with David, and since He had promised to give a lamp to him and to his sons forever (v7).” The covenant—because of the covenant; protection from the Lord belongs to His people and that protection is so often extended that we may not even realize. The people you choose to associate with are important—your selection is important; one day, those associations may prosper or impoverish you, may cause success or great heartache, even loss.
Here’s the point. Take each association, relationship and covenant before the Lord. Ask Him—then wait and listen. He often impresses His people to cut bonds; if so, cut them, don’t delay. In your heart, make the decision; and then, because the process will take time, ask wise men and women to oversee your walk away from those connections. Righteousness exalts.