One of the values in our new church is Allies: Align your life with God and allies who want you to win. This is a critical value that will make us stronger or drag us under. When we get relationships right it's a beautiful thing.
For years I underestimated just how critical relationships are in taking hold of God's promises. If you surround yourself with people who can strengthen you when you're down and cheer with you when you're winning you have a true comrade in Christ.
This is touchy to discuss but even in the church there are people who are not spiritually healthy. This doesn't mean that we discard them at all. But it also doesn't mean that we have to share the deepest part of our lives with them. Being selective with those we share our deepest thoughts, our sin, our shame, and even our victories, is a selection process that God calls us to be mindful of. Consider Psalm 1, the first three verses:
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.
He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
The clear implication is that we're better off walking alone with God and his word than to surround ourselves with the wrong people. There are unwise people both outside and even inside the church who we should not sit with, stand with, or walk with.
The church is the greatest possible institution on earth, but not everyone who calls themselves a Christian is able to help us grow up in Christ. We can't have a spirit of judgement, but we must ask the Holy Spirit to help us exercise judgement for those we should share our lives with.
Getting our life aligned with God and finding allies who will exhort us, cry with us, and even cheer for us when we get a win, is critical to our spiritual prosperity.