The thing about bad company
1 Corinthians 15:33 – Do not be misled: bad company corrupts good character.
What is meant by the word character in this context is your personality, nature, disposition, mentality, temperament, state of mind. The condition of your character ultimately determines your future. So that means, bad company can corrupt not only your character but also the course of your life.
You may think that I’m being slightly dramatic or OTT, but I’ve experienced it first hand. Hanging out with the wrong people changes the way you think and feel. I don’t necessarily mean sinful, morally incorrect people. I’m talking about the people who leave you feeling worse about yourself than you did before you saw them. The people who don’t want the best for you. The people who weigh you down like a heavy anchor. Perhaps they condemn you, belittle you or put unnecessary pressure on you. Whatever it is they may do, it hold you down and it holds you back.
The thing about being a follower of Christ is that you’re an example for the people in your world. You’re the window into what being in love with Jesus is really like. Because of that, you can’t just have Christian friends because that defeats the whole object of Jesus Christ. It’s so important to maintain strong friendships with those who don’t know Him yet, because you’re one of their ways in! Saying that though, if they’re mistreating you, you aren’t called to endure emotional abuse of any form. You’re not their Jesus – you can’t save them.
However from my own experience, it’s life transforming to have a tight circle of faith-filled friends who encourage you on a weekly basis – who understand what you believe and why you believe it. They’re the friends who help to propel you to the next level of your relationship with God.
There came a point in my life when I knew I had to examine my friendships. Who was I spending most of my time with and how were they treating me? How was I treating them? Was it healthy? And then I had to make the decision of who I was going to actively pursue as a friend and invest my time in.
What is your company looking like? And how is it affecting your character?