Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”1 Corinthians 15:33
Most people don’t realise the impact the people they surround themselves with have on their lives. Surround yourself with the right people and you will achieve great things in life. Surround yourself with the wrong people and your life will be miserable.
Whoever we associate with have some sort of influence on our lives, our actions, our thoughts and our decisions. It might not always be obvious but it happens. That is why it is important to always make sure you are in the right company.
Are you keeping the right company?
What are the sort of people you associate with? Who are your friends? How is your friendship with them impacting your life? Is it a good impact or a bad impact?
Someone is in a very difficult situation right now because of the type of friends they chose. If you surround yourselves with the wrong company, you will always end up in trouble.
So what type of company are you keeping?
Why keep the right company?
He who walks with wise men will be wise,Proverbs 13:20
But the companion of fools will be destroyed.
The Bible says that if you walk with wise men, you will be wise, but if you keep the company of fools, you will be destroyed. So, I ask again, are you keeping the right company?
How do you know the right company?
Now, from the scripture above we can tell that the right company is the wise? So who is a wise person?
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;Psalm 111:10
A good understanding have all those who do His commandments.
His praise endures forever.
The fear of the Lord is to hate evil;Proverbs 8:13
Pride and arrogance and the evil way
And the perverse mouth I hate.
Now, the two scriptures above let us know that to be wise is to fear the Lord and to fear the Lord is to hate evil. So if the right company you are supposed to associate with should be wise people, that means you should keep the company of people who hate evil. It means you should keep the company of people who do the will of God, people who obey His commandments.
So, if the company you are keeping are people who are not obeying God’s commandments, that means they are bad company and you should distance yourself from them.
It is not always so easy to tell when you are in a bad company. There are those bad friends who try to get you to do evil things that we all know is wrong, those type of bad friends are easy to spot.
But what of the not so obvious bad company? The ones who don’t ask you to do evil things like, hey, let’s go rob that guy or hey let’s beat that guy up. Those type of bad company can be difficult to spot.
They never ask you to do bad things (things that are obviously bad), so how can you tell when they are a bad company?
Well, if you have a friend who after every encounter, you go home feeling like you did something wrong, they are bad company.
With such people, they will never really ask anything bad of you, it can be something as simple as having a conversation with you. But after the conversation, you realise that you don’t feel so good.
Maybe because they made a bad comment about someone or because they are always telling you about things you will rather stay away from. Such type of people are also bad company and you need to let them go.
Why you should let go of a bad company
Bad company can hinder your blessings
Blessed is the manPsalm 1:1
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
This means that if you associate yourself with bad company, then you won’t be blessed but if you want the blessing of the Lord in your life, then you should let go of the bad company and surround yourself with those who fear the Lord.
Bad company can get you in trouble
If you keep the company of bad friends, it can get you into trouble. Sometimes, it doesn’t even matter that you didn’t do anything wrong or you weren’t involved in their evil act, but just because you are in their company, you can get into trouble with them for their wrongdoings.
Bad company can give you a bad reputation
A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,Proverbs 22:1
Loving favor rather than silver and gold.
Keeping a bad company can destroy your reputation, there’s a saying that goes “show me your friend, and I will show you your character”. Once you associate with bad company, it doesn’t matter how much of a good person you are, people will assume you are just like your friends.
So if you want a good name, then you have to protect your reputation by keeping the right friends.
Letting go of a bad company
One of the most difficult things to do is to let go of bad friends. This is because although these people are bad friends and you need to let them go, they’ve become a part of your life and the reality is that, it’s hard to let go someone who is an important part of your life.
Now it doesn’t matter that they are bad for you. You are human and that means you get attached and you’ve grown attached to these people so it’s definitely going to be hard to let go.
But one thing you have to realise is that everything gets easier once you know and understand why you are doing it. And if you value what you stand to gain, it makes it easier to do what you are supposed to do.
So to be able to let go of a bad company, you have to understand why they need to go.
Why let go of a bad company
1. To draw closer to God
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.James 4:8
If you want to build a strong relationship with God, you have to let go everything that is holding you back from getting closer to God and that includes bad company.
2. To receive God’s blessings
Delight yourself also in the Lord,Psalm 37:4
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Bad company can hinder your blessings, so if you want to see the favor of God on your life and to receive His blessings, you have to let go of bad company and draw closer to God.
Now that you know what you stand to gain if you let go bad company, it should be easier to let them go. Make the right decision for your life.
How to let go of a bad company
1. Keep your distance
Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?2 Corinthians 6:14
Avoid it, do not travel on it;Proverbs 4:15
Turn away from it and pass on.
If you want to let go of a bad company, you have to keep your distance from them. Avoid them, do not get close to them.
This doesn’t mean you should hate them. It’s okay to say hi to them if you run into them. Maybe you are in the same school, or workplace or neighbourhood. Say hi when you see them but you don’t have to go the extra mile of walking home together or grabbing lunch together. Keep your distance.
2. Get closer to the right company
Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.2 Timothy 2:22
You have to get closer to people who draw you closer to God. People who will encourage you to do the right thing and lead a godly life.
Keep the company of people who add value to your life. Get closer to people who bring you closer to God, people who fear the Lord. Don’t let bad company destroy your life.
Prayer to let go of a bad company
Letting go of bad company might not always be easy to do but if you go to God in prayer, He will help and guide you.
I come before you today to surrender my choices and desires to you.
Please help me to make the right choices when it comes to choosing friends.
Please give me the knowledge to discern bad company.
And give me the strength to let go anyone who hinders my relationship with you.
Lord, I ask for your assistance in letting go of the company of the unrighteous.
I want to remain under your feet and I cant do that in the company of the wrong friends.
So please help me let go the wrong friends.
Direct my path Oh , Lord and lead me to the right friends.
Friends that will draw me closer to you.
In Jesus name, I pray with thanksgiving.