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An important key to letting go of the past and reaching your full potential is putting yourself in an environment where the seed of your dreams can grow. I know people who are extremely talented. They have incredible potential. But they insist on hanging around the wrong sorts of people.

If you are close friends with people who are lazy and undisciplined, people who don’t have great dreams, people who are negative and critical, they will rub off on you. Moreover, that environment in which you place yourself will prevent you from rising any higher. You cannot hang out with negative people and expect to live a positive life. If all your friends are depressed and defeated and have given up on their dreams, make some changes. Let’s be honest: You’re probably not going to pull them up; more likely, if you continue to spend too much time in their presence, they will pull you down.

Certainly, you love your friends; you can pray for them and try to encourage them to make positive changes in their lives, but sometimes the best thing you can do is break away from negative people and put yourself in a healthy positive, faith-filled environment. This is extremely critical, because it doesn’t matter how great the potential in the seed, if you don’t put it in good soil, it will not take root and grow.

I’ve had people tell me, “Joel, I don’t know why I’m drawn to abusive people. I get out of one bad relationship and into another one that’s twice as bad. I know it’s not good for me. But I just can’t leave. I’d feel guilty.”

I usually answer, “No, you have a responsibility to keep yourself healthy and whole. God has entrusted you with His talents, with His dreams. And it may be painful, but the best thing you can do is get away from somebody who is a constant drag on your spirit. Don’t allow somebody to treat you that way. You are extremely valuable. You are made in the image of Almighty God.”

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article courtesy of TheStreamingFaith.com/Pastor Joel Osteen

Daily Devotion: “Where Are You?” By Pastor Joel Osteen  was originally published on praisecleveland.com