1 Corinthians 15:33-34 NIV Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.
What the Apostle Paul was saying in this passage of scripture is when you associate with false teachers, or false prophets, or those who don’t operate in holiness you can be easily influenced by them. False teachings do not lead to holiness, so it’s crucial that you are careful of who you listen to or form relationships with. This goes for those within the church and outside of the church, because everyone that cries Lord, Lord is not saved. I always say you must know them by the fruit that they bear and not the suit that they wear. People will show you a representative of themselves while camouflaging who they really are.
You must have a strong spirit of discernment, which means to possess wisdom and be of good judgement. Especially in the things that are sometimes overlooked by other people. For example, you may be under a leader that’s struggling with alcoholism or addiction but because that leader is heavily anointed and can preach the house down, some may tend to overlook his vices. However, if you are strong in your conviction, you may choose not to sit under someone who hasn’t been delivered from those things. On the other hand, there could be people that may choose to stay and accept those behaviors. What’s dangerous about accepting this behavior is that it becomes normal and pretty soon you become desensitized to their wrongdoing.
Conversely, we should also be careful when hanging around unsaved friends outside of the church. Sometimes corrupt behavior can cause even the strongest Christian to waver in their faith which can affect your walk with God and your witness to the world. This is why Paul tells us, “Do not be misled.” Think about this, if you are around someone that constantly uses profanity and their behavior is left unchecked, pretty soon you may start to use profanity too. it’s called a transference of spirits.
This is especially important for young people who are often easily influenced by their peers. Some young people desperately seek the approval of others and lose sight of who they are. They tend to buckle under peer pressure, which causes them to make unwise decisions. Therefore, it is imperative for parents to keep a watchful eye of their children’s friends and pray against the influence of bad company.
Remember, when you associate with or partake in the company of people with sinful behavior and morals, you can run the risk of mimicking their behaviors, their language, and their habits. Before long you are no longer of God, but of the world.