The people we choose to have fellowship with can make all the difference in success or failure as a Christian. Friendships with strong believers can help us grow stronger. Their faith encourages us and helps us increase in faith. 2 Timothy 2:22 speaks about the benefits of “keeping company with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”
The reverse of that is also true for our lives. Keeping company with people who are living sinful lives is very dangerous. They are walking in darkness. If we choose to keep company with them, doing the same things they do and talking like they do, we will soon be in the dark as well. The Bible says “bad company corrupts good morals.”
You and I cannot afford to become too familiar with sin. Whatever we become familiar with, we will soon accept. That is the reason we must be careful what we listen to and watch on radio, internet and television. Watching stealing, adultery, crude comedy, profanity, and murder, night after night will cause spiritual damage to us. It weakens our faith and makes sin more acceptable.
This doesn’t mean you have no association with unbelievers. You and I should always be reaching out to those who don’t know Jesus. We should be friendly, invite them to church and find ways to minister to them. But we must be on guard and know who is influencing whom.
That is one of the major reasons for attending church regularly and becoming connected with a Christian group of friends. Connecting with other believers on a regular basis is one of the best things John and I have ever done for our family. We don’t just value attending church. We devote our lives to close companionship with our church family. Even if we weren’t the pastors, we would be sure to attend every service and social event possible at our local church. Doing so gives many opportunities to form valuable and lasting relationships for each member of our family.
We encourage our children to make friends with other children in the church. We tell them their closest friends should be Christians. Having other Christian families in our home, increases the opportunity to form and strengthen Christian friendships. When our children reach dating age, we tell them they are only allowed to date Christians, knowing it is a safe guard for eventually choosing to marry a believer.
There is great value in guarding what influences our lives. By guarding what influences us through media and television, we can keep from becoming insensitive to the dangers of sin. By guarding who we keep company with, we can protect and strength our lives as Christians.
“He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.” Proverbs 13:20 NIV