“Stop forming inappropriate relationships with unbelievers. Can right and wrong be partners? Can light have anything in common with darkness? Can Christ agree with the devil? Can a believer share life with an unbeliever? Can God’s temple contain false gods? Clearly, we are the temple of the living God. As God said, “I will live and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people.” The Lord says, “Get away from unbelievers. Separate yourselves from them. Have nothing to do with anything unclean. Then I will welcome you.” The Lord Almighty says, “I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters.””
2 Corinthians 6:14-18 GW
Paul addresses the issue of ungodly relationships with the church of Corinth. He quotes several passages from Leviticus, Ezekiel, and 2 Samuel to substantiate his message.
Our relationships affect our life choices. Bad relationships negatively affect us and good relationships positively affect us.
1 Corinthians 15:33 says: “Don’t let anyone deceive you. Associating with bad people will ruin decent people.” GW.
If we want to see good things come to our lives, we must make choices that reflect that desire. God is not saying that we should not care about, or reach out to, unbelievers. In fact, that is our mission. However, we cannot "hang out" with those who live ungodly lives and expect to live a godly life. There is an old saying about physical health: "You are what you eat." The same is true socially and spiritually. Often I have said: "You can't soar with eagles if you hang out with turkeys."
We are called to love our fellow man, without question, but we cannot allow the lifestyle of the ungodly to influence our way of life. We are called to represent the Master, Jesus! Jesus ate with sinners (see Matthew 9:11; Mark 2:16; and Luke 15:2). We should too! There is, however, a distinct difference between being friendly and "hanging out" with those that we are trying to reach. We must not make our inner circle of influential relationships with those who are living opposite of what God's Word says. Should we choose to, the results will be disastrous.
We must surround ourselves with relationships that are godly. I'm not saying "religious". I know many "religious" people that are no better than the Pharisees of Jesus time. I'm speaking of honorable, godly, reputable, people.
What relationships are shaping your life?
Prayer for today: Father, in Jesus name, help me to live a life that pleases you. Help me make relationship choices that reflect that. Amen!
Rev. Curtis Norris