Depart from me, you evildoers, that I may keep the commandments of my God. Psalm 119:115
In David’s courts, there would be men who would flatter him in order to secure their own place in the palace. There would also be traitors who would try to get David’s ear and steer him in directions that would sabotage his effective leadership. Discerning those with ulterior motives was as difficult for David as it is for us but the first line of defense is the recognition that such men exist. Satan makes sure of it and oftentimes, God allows it, so that our spiritual senses can be sharpened and our wisdom increased.
For a seed to grow and develop, it needs good soil. The toxic soil of bad company fails to give the seeds of faith the nourishment they need to thrive. The weeds of bad language, bad advice, and a life of compromise lived out in close proximity, threaten growth. With little refreshing rains, seeds of spiritual life will sprout, then appear sickly. They will be a muted shade of green, bent over and withered, and fail to ever mature to bear fruit.
Spend enough time in the company of people who choose to walk with the world instead of Christ, and you will find it difficult to choose Christ. You will say to yourself, “Either I have to part company or my ability to follow Christ and fight for His kingdom will be affected.”
- If I spend most of my time with someone who hates Jesus, the spiritual friction will drag me down. Emotionally, physically, and spiritually, I will see the vibrant edges of my faith wither.
- If I spend most of my time with a ‘technical Christian’, one who says they love Jesus but appears neutral by the way they live, my passion will be compromised.
- If I spend much time with radical, faith-filled, passionate believers, their faith will infect me. My soil becomes rich as we treasure the Word, share our stories, and cheer each other on to greater ventures for the kingdom.
Whom I allow to have access to my ear, daily, affects me. It is one thing to love the lost and reach out to the hurting with humility. It is quite another to make them my confidants. Many today need to make a critical decision to change their company. Their spiritual survival depends on it.
Loyalty does not equal perpetuating a destructive affiliation. Teach your church how to exercise discernment with humility. Amen