There’s a popular saying that goes “no man is an island” and it is often used to establish the fact that we all need people to survive. You cannot get through this life thing on your own…you need friends or at the least, associates. However, we, especially as believers, must be weary of the kind of people we associate ourselves with. We must be careful of the people we call friends. For this post I’d be making use of an analogy of rotten apples (which I’m dubbing from a series I watched recently lol).
When you have a basket of apples and maybe only two of them are rotten, there is a high possibility that with time, the rest of the apples will begin to rot as well. Not because they are bad themselves, but because they are in close proximity to bad apples and so they are influenced. This brings me to my first point; evil communication corrupts good manners.
“Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners” (1 Corinthians 15:33).
The people you associate yourself with go a long way to influence you. No matter how “good” you are or how disciplined you claim to be, if your company of friends are bad, it is just a matter of time before you also indulge in bad things as well. I see Christians point to unbelievers as their besties and I’m like how? Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying you cannot have relations with unbelievers, it’s practically impossible to do that but you cannot use an unbeliever as your confidant. What type of advice do you expect to get if you ran to them with a problem? The Scripture tells us that “iron sharpens iron…” (Proverbs 27:17). Wood cannot sharpen iron but iron could sharpen wood however, that iron would definitely become blunt if it is not sharpened regularly by another iron. You lose your fire or zeal when you surround yourself with people who can’t match that energy.
Yes, Jesus ate and drank with unbelievers but He said that it is those that do His will that are His friends (John 15:14). Dear believer, let your best buddies be people who are also committed to doing the will of God. People who would give you Scripture-approved advice as necessary, let your besties be people who would guide you to the truth of the word of God. There’s no need to fear the truth. The Bible never said the truth is bitter, what do know from the Bible is that the truth sets free (John 8:32). So, get you a friend that would not be afraid to propel you to freedom.
Perhaps you have found yourself in a company of the wrong friends or in the wrong association for instance, an organization of office that compromises and is fond of cheating, there is a way to remedy it. Even an apple that is rotting can still be saved, all that needs to be done is for the rotten part to be cut off. In other words, separate yourself from the wrong type of association…consecrate yourself. 2 Corinthians 6:14 lets us know that darkness has nothing in common with light. As a person who is born again, you are light and you should have nothing to do with darkness…there is no binding factor between the two.
Doing away with the rotten apple or rotten side of the apple goes beyond people. It could be songs, books you read (not every type of information is needful), movies you watch, places you go, you name it! As long as it is something that would influence you to do what is contrary to what Christ stands for, it is a rotten apple. These things we watch, read or listen to, become internalized and they become the things we think and eventually act on. Let Philippians 4:8 be your filter medium. Before watching any movie or reading any book or downloading any song or going to any “location” let this be your filter. Separate yourself from the wrong type of association. Remember it is what comes out of a man that defiles him and for a thing to come out of a man, it must have initially gone into him through his association.
The type of things you associate with and the type of company you keep, tell a whole lot about the type of person you are. That saying that goes “show me your friend and I would tell you who you are” is so accurate. Consciously or unconsciously, whether we like it or not, we determine the nature of a person by their association. It would be totally absurd to walk into a meeting called “African community” and find a Spaniard there. So also, it would be hard convincing someone that you’re actually born again when you keep the company of sinners or unbelievers. A Christian who hangs out intimately with atheists would one day begin to think like an atheist. An eagle in the midst of chickens may one begin to eat corn day and a lion living with dogs may one day begin to bark.
So, be wise and choose your company with wisdom from above.