SPF 236: Bad Company in Unlikely Places

1 Corinthians 15:13 says, “Do not be deceived, bad company ruins good morals.” Can one bad apple spoil the whole bunch? Today I’m sharing a few places to be mindful of bad company and the blessedness of good company.

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In the company of Bad Apples

“Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” 1 Corinthians 15:33

It’s tempting to think that will we rub off more on the bad company than the bad company on us. Scripture says it’s not so. 

Rush Dooney asks the questions, “you can catch a cold from your friends, but can you catch good health?” 

When we think of evil, we need to recognize two things – what evil is, and it’s contagious nature. It’s easy to think evil is the absolute worst of the worst crimes, but really, evil is wickedness, and wickedness is hostility against God. So evil and wickedness ranges from murder to pride. It’s against God and it’s contagious. Bad company corrupts good morals. 

By contrast, Righteousness is not contagious. As Rush Dooney says, “it is a product of saving faith and a steady growth in holiness in a process known as sanctification.” When God saves us we are fully saved. Completely righteous in our justification (I did a podcast on this) before God. But also, we are in process of continually putting off the old self and putting on the new self. It takes work and discipline and is a product of our faith in Jesus and his work on the cross. 

Too much contact with things that are hostile to God and we can be affected by it. And we need to be sharp or as scripture says, shrewd. Wickedness destroys quickly. Like a house fire. A home can be destroyed by fire in an hour, but takes months to rebuild.

Unlikely Company:

  • Social Media influencers

  • “Christian” motivational influencers

  • Books

  • Media/news

Hebrews 5:14

But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

Psalms 1

Book One

The Way of the Righteous and the Wicked

Blessed is the man

who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,

nor stands in the way of sinners,

nor sits in the seat of scoffers;

but his delight is in the law of the LORD,

and on his law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree

planted by streams of water

that yields its fruit in its season,

and its leaf does not wither.

In all that he does, he prospers.

The wicked are not so,

but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,

nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;

for the LORD knows the way of the righteous,

but the way of the wicked will perish.

Charles Spurgeon

“Let us not sleep, as do others.”

1 Thessalonians 5:6

“There are many ways of promoting Christian wakefulness. Among the rest, let me strongly advise Christians to converse together concerning the ways of the Lord. Christian and Hopeful, as they journeyed towards the Celestial City, said to themselves, “To prevent drowsiness in this place, let us fall into good discourse.” Christian enquired, “Brother, where shall we begin?” And Hopeful answered, “Where God began with us.” Then Christian sang this song;

“When saints do sleepy grow, let them come hither,

And hear how these two pilgrims talk together;

Yea, let them learn of them, in any wise,

Thus to keep open their drowsy slumb’ring eyes.

Saints’ fellowship, if it be managed well,

Keeps them awake, and that in spite of hell.”

Christians who isolate themselves and walk alone, are very liable to grow drowsy. Hold Christian company, and you will be kept wakeful by it, and refreshed and encouraged to make quicker progress in the road to heaven. But as you thus take “sweet counsel” with others in the ways of God, take care that the theme of your converse is the Lord Jesus. Let the eye of faith be constantly looking unto him; let your heart be full of him; let your lips speak of his worth. Friend, live near to the cross, and thou wilt not sleep. Labour to impress thyself with a deep sense of the value of the place to which thou art going. If thou rememberest that thou art going to heaven, thou wilt not sleep on the road. If thou thinkest that hell is behind thee, and the devil pursuing thee, thou wilt not loiter. Would the manslayer sleep with the avenger of blood behind him, and the city of refuge before him? Christian, wilt thou sleep whilst the pearly gates are open;t he songs of angels waiting for thee to join them; a crown of gold ready for thy brow? Ah! no; in holy fellowship continue to watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation.”

  • Charles Spurgeon Morning and Evening Devotional


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