Most people don’t realize that 1 Cor. 15:33 is what is being quoted when we say:
“Bad Company Corrupts Good Morals.”
Whom you spend your time with can make you or break you.
You see, we are affecting them or they are affecting us. It is always one of the two. Husbands affect wives and wives affect husbands. Friends affect who you are and who you will ultimately become. In the several years that I have been ministering to prisoners I always like to ask the same question “If you were not hanging out with those people do you think you would have committed a crime? 100% of the inmates, both men and women said “No, I wouldn’t have done the crime if I wasn’t spending time with those people.”
Spending time with Godly people will compel you to be more Godly – or it will bother you so much you can’t stand it. Spending time with perverts will stir up more lust and desire for pornography. Spending time with money-hungry people will make you begin to focus on material possessions rather than God. Spending time with lazy people will make you feel that it’s ok to hang out, not work and not be productive.
Spending time with those who love to drink will often compel you to start drinking a little more and perhaps not be so aware of the grip alcohol has on you.
“Light has no fellowship with darkness.” Does this mean we don’t hang out with unbelievers? Certainly not. But we must see our time spent with them primarily to bring them to Christ. To just hang out and develop deep relationships with unbelievers is in effect saying that you have stopped witnessing by your words, your actions or both. If the witnessing is continuing how could they possibly not be affected by it one way or another? Darkness does not like light – but it certainly doesn’t mind gray areas.
It is too easy to compromise our Christian beliefs when we become close friends with unbelievers. When we do this we water down the gospel, we dim our light, we lose our edge and we often become confused in ethical and moral situations.
When we look at the life of Jesus and His disciples we see their most intimate relationships with believers. They spent the majority of their time in the world and around unbelievers, but it was always for ministry purposes – never to be refreshed, encouraged or find fellowship – for that they pulled away privately as Christians. Not once do you see any of them (but Judas) going to an unbeliever for fellowship, it just doesn’t work.
If you call an unbeliever your best friend then I would truly seek God and ask where the real issue is. Do you not connect to Christians? Have you been rejected by the church and find unbelievers more accepting? Are you compromising your walk? What is the real crux of this relationship? If this were of God then as you are continually witnessing to them they would either begin to move into the direction of salvation or further away from God. If you have stopped witnessing the gospel to them then you have in effect compromised God’s standards and settled for appeasing this friend because you need them just as much as they need you.
When I moved into a new neighborhood we didn’t know anyone in the area. I met one of our neighbors who was not a Christian. She and I had a lot in common and we began to spend time together. I kept saying that I was going to share Christ with her. I kept making excuses for not coming out and truly sharing the gospel with her. I liked having a cool friend that was a mover and shaker in our town. Yet, little by little she began to have an effect on me. I began to drink more than just an occasional glass of wine, I began to not only listen to her gossip, I joined in, I began lowering my standards to hers. Her darkness was having a greater impact on me than my light.
Three years later I found that I was sinning with the excuse that one day I would lead her to Christ. I was having too much fun hanging out with her and didn’t want to risk losing her friendship. It took a great move of God for me to have a wake up call. Yes, I shared the gospel with her, but by then my light had so dimmed that I could not disciple her. The relationship ended with a lot of hurt feelings. The lover of my soul would no longer allow me to have one foot in the world and one foot in the kingdom because in the end I would fall.
Our deepest relationships should always be with believers. We need that uplifting fellowship to walk strong in the Lord and to not compromise His ways. We can have friends that are unbelievers but they should never be our closest friends.
Are your closest friends unbelievers? This is not God’s best for you nor is it His will. In the end it will be sin. It doesn’t matter how kind, how wonderful or how moral they are, they are still unbelievers. Dark is dark and light is light.
Who do you hang with? It is having an effect on you.