Saturday June 17
17 Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them.
18 For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.
19 For the report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil.
When I was a teenager, I explored many different groups of friends. I would get really close with a circle of people and then move on to the next, checking out different types of people. Over the years in high school, I formed an eclectic group of friends and I found this verse to be true: “Do not be deceived, ‘Bad company corrupts good morals.’” I Corinthians 15:33. The Bible talks a lot about this. Whatever you are watching or reading, it will get into your mind and come out of your mouth. The same goes with who you surround yourself. If your friends are loose morally, your attitude and standards will be affected negatively. Often, we can get into a trap of thinking we are stronger than those around us…but more often than not, this is not true!
Paul understood this when he admonished the Romans to watch those who caused trouble and said things against what they had been taught. He knew that those people had not made Jesus Christ their lord and only cared about their own selfish desires. Those types of people can deceive you away from the truth and cause all sorts of evil. Paul wanted them to be wise in the things of God which are good and have no knowledge of evil.
I remember a time during my sophomore year in high school that I hung out with some kids who were drinking. I didn’t know how much they had to drink but I ended up in the back seat of a car packed with kids and quickly became aware that the driver was drunk by his erratic driving. I was scared! I remember praying desperately to God to save me and protect me. He did and I made it home safely but I was shaken up. I shouldn’t have been in that situation or hanging out with the kind of kids that would drink and then drive putting many lives at risk. The friends I had at that time had loosened my convictions and I was in uncharted, ungodly territory.
What I have learned over the years of my life is that you want people that will bring you up and not down. Choose friends that will make you better for God and stronger, ones that will admire your solid convictions and morals. I married my husband, Sean, because he did this for me. He pushed me in areas that I was weak and inspired me to work harder and be better for God. Below are some verses that talk about the consequences of the company you keep.
He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.
But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler–not even to eat with such a one.
Leave the presence of a fool, Or you will not discern words of knowledge.
I do not sit with deceitful men, Nor will I go with pretenders. I hate the assembly of evildoers, And I will not sit with the wicked.
How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.
Do not associate with a man given to anger; Or go with a hot-tempered man, Or you will learn his ways And find a snare for yourself.
Your boasting is not good Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough.