Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, his chief of staff, to bring to the palace some of the young men of Judah’s royal family and other noble families, who had been brought to Babylon as captives.
Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were plucked from their homeland of Judah and sent to the pagan place called Babylon. Their names were even changed. Hananiah’s name was changed to Shadrach, Mishael’s name was changed to Meshach, and Azariah was given the name Abednego.
Although their names were changed, it didn’t change their character. And when the people in Babylon ultimately bowed down before an image of King Nebuchadnezzar—Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stood their ground and refused to bow. Because they had faith in God, they didn’t compromise.
World changers are almost always a minority and rarely, if ever, a majority. The majority isn’t always right. Case in point: it was the majority that wanted Christ crucified. It’s often the one man or the one woman—a world changer—who stands up for what is true and will say what is right.
You can’t control your environment entirely. You may be in a workplace with people who don’t believe. You may be in a classroom around people who don’t share your faith. You may have ungodly family members. I’m not saying you can change that. But there’s a difference between the people you’re around and the people you choose to spend time with.
Spend time with godly people. Find godly friends who will build you up in your faith and increase your appetite for spiritual things—not people who drag you down and decrease your appetite for spiritual things.
Psalm 1:1 says, “Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers” (NLT). If you want to be a happy person, then don’t hang around ungodly people.
Sometimes our circumstances change. But if we are men and women of God, then our circumstances won’t change us.