Dangerous Friends

1 Corinthians 15: 33       NIV
Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”

This is the tune that parents have sung for hundreds and even thousands of years. You will become like who you hang around with. How does the expression go, “Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas.” King Solomon would have been benefited from hearing Paul’s sermon. Solomon was an extremely blessed man. His father, David, left him an intact kingdom, one that was finally enjoying peace. Solomon had fame, honor, and extreme wealth. He had everything! Still, he fell. And do you know why? He hung out with the wrong people. He had heathen friends and heathen wives, heathen simply meaning that these were not people of the kingdom. They were not Israelites and more importantly they did not practice the Hebrew ways.

Have you ever noticed that in associations the lower person usually pulls the other down rather than the higher pulling the lower up? I do not know why this is the case but it is typical. It sure was the result in Solomon’s life. These non-believers, if you will, corrupted his testimony. He became like them instead of them becoming like him. He even ended up building altars to heathen gods. It is hard to believe that the son of David could fall so far. This is Solomon who was chosen to and in fact did build the temple of God. Then later in life he built pagan temples and altars. It is hard to fathom. The end of the story is that Solomon fell hard. The throne was torn from his lineage except for one tribe. And all of this happened because he did not choose his friends wisely.

Who you hang out with will affect you. Period. We must zealously guard our hearts or the thief will steal our fervent love for God. The next thing you know your life has made a radical departure from your former self. Of course, the other danger is that we lie to ourselves saying that we are still serving God, we still love Him but in the depths of our hearts we know that we have left our first love. So here is the question, “Where are we allowing our associations to lead us?” We’ve got to be honest with ourselves in answering this question. We should also be aware that it is not only the people that we associate with that entice us away from time spent with God. We can also be lured away by “things.” That new boat can become an idol or even a new house. A book series can become an obsession. In short, there are many things that can tempt us away from God. We’ve all spent too much time at work or too much time at play so this isn’t a recrimination. It is a warning. Look at who you are associated with. Ask yourself if they are leading you towards or away from God. Assess where your time is spent. Besides work, what dominates your time and thought? Be cautious, otherwise the enemy will steal your zeal for God. Before you even know it you find it easy to cut church when you used to attend regularly. You never pick up your Bible anymore and your prayer life has become a burden rather than a joy.  

Everything you need for life is in the Lord our God. Do not be misled. Turn your face to God and be blessed and renewed.