Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character." —1 Corinthians 15:33

Spanish novelist Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra wrote in his masterpiece, Don Quixote de la Mancha, "Tell me thy company, and I will tell thee what thou art." There is some truth to that statement. We are known by the company we keep.

We often believe that this concept applies only in our interaction with unbelievers; however, this can be applied to our relationship within the body of Christ, also.

Some years ago I was in a situation where I found myself unwittingly in the grip of someone who I could see was not good for me. The person was a professing Christian, but I found myself in his grip, and I was leaning on him. I realized that this was wrong, and God delivered me from the situation. I was so thankful.

Am I advising you to avoid altogether unbelievers or certain members within the body of Christ? Most certainly not. However, ask the Lord to shine His light on the various relationships in your life.

Could it be that at this moment you are in this snare? You are trapped with bad company, and they are doing you no good. Maybe, however, you have rationalized the situation and made up excuses, concluding that you can be an exception. You wouldn't recommend anybody else to do what you are doing.

The worst thing that you can do, however, is to begin to think that you are the exception to the rule. For the devil will come alongside and say that you are different, that you can associate with wrong company. Then, before you know it, you are in a trap.

It is a wonderful thing to realize that God delivers us from bad company.

Maybe you are in a situation where you are being wrongly influenced, and as a consequence you have lost the sense of inner peace. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But bad company causes you to lose the peace that God wants you to have. I ask you, are you in the grip of bad company?

Excerpted from Higher Ground (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 1995).

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