Check back each Monday for a short devotional with Chaplain Art Pace to help you start the week off well.
Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals. Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.”1 Corinthians 15:33-34
In this chapter of Corinthians, the Apostle Paul teaches about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In the midst of that teaching, Paul shifts gears slightly to give us a warning. He says that there are those who deny the gospel or twist the truths of Scripture. If we as Christians choose to make such people our closest circle of friends, then our faith will be in danger of corruption.
We who have accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior have been rescued from sin. Through Christ we have been given a new life of hope and peace. Why then would we choose to surround ourselves with friends or social media sites who make fun of our faith and tempt us into returning to our sinful ways? Paul likens this to getting drunk, for drunkenness often leads to poor decision making.
His warning is clear. Stop sinning, and do not heed those who try to convince you otherwise. WE will not change the bad company. They will change us, for the worse.
That said, do not misunderstand Paul. It is alright to have friends who do not accept the teachings of Christ. We should be praying for them and sharing our faith with them. But such friends should not be our exclusive social life. We need to be regularly engaged in solid in-person Christian fellowship that strengthens us in our Christian walk. We also need true friends who respect our desire to live in a way that honors our Savior.
If Paul examined your social circles, would he conclude that you are in bad company or good company? Who can you turn to in your life to encourage you in your Christian growth?