Proverbs 13:20 Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.
Proverbs 12:26 The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray.
1 Corinthians 15:33 Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for “bad company corrupts good character.”
This morning, I was in the bathroom when Diego, my spoiled rotten Yorkie, walked in. He immediately laid down at my feet. Within a mere second or two, the disgusting scent of death pierced my senses. Diego had just come in from his morning outdoor adventures. We live in the middle of 80 acres, and somewhere out there, Diego found some varmint that was decaying, and he decided to roll all around in it so that he too could wear the delightful smell of decay. Ugggh! The smell was truly offensive, and my beloved dog received his weekly bath a bit early. He now smells fresh as Irish Spring after several scrubbings and rinsings.
I do not for the life of me know why our dogs do this. They love to wallow in the wrong stuff, and then they smell so badly. I’ll never understand the nature of a dog, nor will I ever pretend to understand the nature of a human. I’ve always told my kids to choose their friends wisely because their smell is going to rub off on them. Just like the dogs wallow in stench, and then run around smelling disgusting, we too take on the likeness of those that we hang around. Their nature tends to rub off on us. We may not intentionally choose to take on the behaviors, attitudes, or beliefs of those we surround ourselves with, but unless we are intentionally choosing NOT to, they are going to rub off on us. Before we know it, we are running around smelling bad too!
Before I go any further, let me make one thing clear. I am not saying avoid the unlovable. It is our calling as children of God to love everyone, even the unlovable. We are to hit the highways and byways sharing the gospel, but we aren’t supposed to live in their sin situations. We are to love the sinner, hate the sin. So don’t let my words make you think otherwise.
What I am referring to today is our close friendships and relationships. We must choose our friends carefully, and we must surround ourselves with a network of fellow believers. A wise Christian friend will encourage you, build you up, and impart godly wisdom. A great Christian friend will lovingly keep you on track and keep you accountable. Yet, a bad friend will lead you away from Christ and lead you to sin. When we are hanging around non-Christian friends more than Christian friends, we slowly began to acclimate to their lifestyles. We start to get used to hearing the ugly language, seeing the drug or alcohol consumption, or even sexual immorality. After a while, these things start to look okay to us. We start to accept the behavior as a socially acceptable standard, and before we know it, we are smelling just like our friends.
I saw the meme attached to this post that says, “Show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future.” It’s true, Peeps! We become like those we surround ourselves with. God knows this truth, and He will intervene when necessary. Just as a good parent tries to remove bad influences from the lives of their chikdren, God will remove bad influences from our lives and replace those bad influences with good, godly friends. I’ve seen Him do it!
When choosing friends, we need to ask God for wisdom. Bad company will corrupt good character. What do you smell like today? Are you emitting a sweet smelling aroma, or are you stinking everybody out of the room with the stench of decay? Don’t be a Diego! Chase after God and godly friends!