One of the most important parts of growth and change is changing our surroundings. By changing our surroundings we are then open and acceptable to learn new things and be molded more so by the new surroundings. A person’s surroundings typically can tell a lot about that person before even meeting them. If someone is consistently around bad influences and behavior, then they too will develop the same character. But if we surround ourselves with Godly influences and behavior, we then develop a more Godly character.
“Do not be deceived: ‘Evil company corrupts good habits.'” (1 Corinthians 15:33 NKJV).
It is a difficult thing to get rid of bad company especially when you have known someone or a group of bad company for so long. Many new Christians believe that if they hang around the bad company that they will change them, but the truth is that they will more than likely change you and hinder your overall growth in God. We are called to be a separate people mostly intermingled within the body of Christ helping build one another up in the faith.
“But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit.” (Jude 1:20).
Now this of course does not mean that we shun others, but it does not mean we should be friends with the world either. There is a fine balance in how we should approach those that are outside the faith that promote corrupt behavior. Jesus sat down and ate with sinners, but he did so to only teach them and not to just hangout with them. He did not condone their sin nor participate in it and thus we should follow. It only takes one person to corrupt another individual and therefore we need to be careful in separating ourselves from being friends and just being a Godly influence from time to time.
“Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?” (1 Corinthians 5:6).
Let us surround ourselves with Godly influence and purge out the old corrupt things and people that influenced our old lives. Let us not be friends with the world, but rather a Godly influence from time to time to hopefully and eventually lead the previous bad influence to Christ. What bad influence and corrupt behavior surrounds you that you feel needs to be purged today?