That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous. Proverbs 2:20.
In order to have a healthy body, the blood circulating through the veins must be pure; in order to be pure it must have pure air and pure food. The use of improper food and the inhalation of impure air cause disease, which appears in various forms.
The purity and soundness of our religious life is dependent not only on the truth we accept, but on the company we keep, and the moral atmosphere we breathe. Faith, elasticity and vigor, hopefulness, joyfulness, doubts and fears, slothfulness, stupidity, envy, jealousy, distrust, selfishness, waywardness, and backsliding, are the result of the associations we form, the company we keep, and the air we breathe.
The indulgence of wrong associations will have its baleful results…. The Bible may be read and prayer be offered, yet there will be no increase of spiritual health, no growth of soul, so long as the air which is breathed is bad…. The greatest care should be exercised by the believers to place themselves in close connection with God and with those who have been taught of God. It is painful to see those who have believed present truth walking into Satan’s net….
We raise our voice and cry to every believer in the present truth: If you would have spiritual health, look to your lungs. Look to your spiritual food. Cultivate a love for the society of those who are pure and good, if you would have Christ formed in you as the life of the soul. The health of the soul depends upon the breathing of a good moral atmosphere.11Letter 1, 1882.
Christ, the Great Physician, has given a prescription for every believer. He must eat the food provided in the Word of God. And the faith that works by love to God and man is dependent not only upon the food we eat but upon the air we breathe. If we associate with those who are evil, we breathe an atmosphere tainted with the malaria of sin. Be sure, by association with the meek and lowly followers of Jesus, to breathe a pure, holy atmosphere.12Manuscript 60, 1901.