It is impossible to live a life that is unaffected by other people. Your association/friends can take you closer to your God destiny or far away from it. Their attitudes and opinions, like pollen, blow into our lives, shaping our perspective and influencing our decisions.
The parable of weeds in Matthew 13:24-30 tells us about two types of seed: 1. Children of God (good seed) and 2. Sons of the evil one (weeds). Both were planted for one reason – to add influence. Many people do no realise the power of influence and therefore they are caught unawares by people who leave their seeds of slander, back biting, gripping, complaining, pride, gossiping, etc. They wake up one day all of a sudden and see their garden with all sorts of weeds that choke the Word of God in their lives.
Don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God (James 4:4).
The Bible also warns, Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’ (1 Corinthians 15:33).
On the other hand, when one godly person’s life sharpens another’s, it’s a good thing (Proverbs 27:17). It yields a harvest of mature fruit over time.
Don’t compromise your destiny for company
One principle that I have learnt with bad company is that it is progressive. If you are not careful you will be moving down a slippery path that ends in shame, disgrace, worthlessness, loneliness and every evil work. Psalm 1 hints at the three progression stage of association that leads to sin: It first begins with standing (casually listening), then walking (intentional listening) and finally sitting (living) with wickedness.
I like what Pastor Steven Furtick says, “Don’t compromise your destiny for company.”
The Bible says, “He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.” (Proverbs 13:20).
I am not talking about associating with the world alone, but even in terms of believers who claim to walk with God.
Here are some guidelines about who you should stick to, or stay away from:
Stay away from:
1. Fools, or the know-it-alls, who are wise in their own eyes. (Proverbs 1:7)
2. Gossipers, grumblers, drunkards, immoral, boasters, hot tempered men (1 Corinthians 5:11), (Proverbs 22:24,25).
3. Those who cause quarrels and fights, backbiters, unsubmissive to authorities (Romans 16:17)
4. Those who are lovers of the world (James 4:3,4).
5. Those who are lovers of pleasure, rather than lovers of God (2 Timothy 3:1-9)
1. Those who are wise. Not in the ways of the world, but in the knowledge of God’s Word (Proverbs 13:20).
2. Lovers of Jesus, those who boast in Jesus (1 Corinthians 8:3)
3. Visionaries, who have a vision for their lives, who have an action plan and who are pursuing it, who are not mere talkers, but doers. (Proverbs 29:18).
4. Those who are humble, hardworking and who never stop learning. (1 Peter 5:5)
5. Who correct and counsel you according to the Word of God (Proverbs 3:12)
I can think of a lot of examples in the Bible and in my life where I see people influenced or rather allowing themselves to be influenced by bad company and I can tell you that it will corrupt the good character (seed) placed in your life. It will always make the journey to your destiny harder, tougher, lengthier and you will also end up hurting many people along the way both family and friends. So watch out!