The saying goes, “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.” Who you surround yourself with is a big deal! We preach that message to our children and teenagers, but we adults shouldn’t fool ourselves into thinking we outgrow this truth. “Bad company ruins good morals” (1 Corinthians 15:33) applies to every age, every social class, every culture, and yes, every Christian.
Ultimately, we hear these things repeated so often because the power of influence is that powerful! Psalm 1 reminds us we are blessed when we handpick our closest friends from those who don’t walk in sin or scoff at righteousness. The Apostle Paul says, “Therefore do not become partners with them;for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light . . .” (Ephesians 5:7–8). He begins with “therefore” because he has just told us that God’s wrath is coming for those who live in disobedience and rebellion toward God. You and I must take seriously who we find companionship and comradery with because Christians should never fall into ranks with those who displease God–because we are changed people who now live in the light.
This is one of the most apparent lessons we learn from Lot and him settling in Sodom. It seems Lot brings terrible pain and depravity to his house by choosing to live in the midst of wickedness. After seeing the fate of his wife and his morally bankrupt daughters, I wonder if Lot had regrets about who he chose to surround his family?
As we think about our own lives, who are our friends? Whose voices do we hear and whose actions do we see? Who are the people we are bound to become?