“They have greatly oppressed me from my youth,” let Israel say;
2 “they have greatly oppressed me from my youth, but they have not gained the victory over me.
3 Plowmen have plowed my back and made their furrows long.
4 But the Lord is righteous; he has cut me free from the cords of the wicked.” Psalm 129:1-4
For many of us, if we had continued hanging out with those we hung out with in our youthful days, we wouldn’t be where we are today. As our mom so often warned me, “don’t hang out with the wrong crowd.” The thing is, even though she never defined who that crowd was, I knew what she was talking about. I got a taste for what the wrong crowd did, but I didn’t want anything to do with them. I knew that though they were fun to be with, their rebellious actions would probably land them in prison. I wasn’t too far from the truth.
This passage also extends to who we hang around with now. Do they bring you down or build you up? Do they badmouth the preacher at every turn or do they praise him regularly? You and I could also hang around the wrong church crowd as well. These kinds of people may not lead you to the road to imprisonment, but they could tear you down little by little with their critical spirit.
The other piece to this equation is this: are you dragging others down? In other words, are you the “wrong crowd?” Would you admit you had a critical spirit if you had one? One of the ways to know for sure is if you asked one or two others. You may not like what they have to say but you will thank them later for being so honest.