Is it sinful to go to a social party where people drink and dance? Is it sinful to hangout with friends who have a mean attitude and use indecent language? Is it a sin to be a close friend of people who don’t believe in Jesus and don’t go to church like you do? Is it acceptable in God’s sight to associate yourself in closely-knit relationships with even Christians who are not Godly?
Well the answer to all the above questions is, No! It is not sinful to do that, yet the point of fact is that it might lead you to sin and to a lot of other complications!
Psalm 1:1-2 AMP
Blessed, happy, fortunate, prosperous and enviable is The Man
Who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly, following their advice, their plans and purposes:
The word of God is not against you having close friends in the world, it is only against letting them influence you to the extent of you starting to follow their advices, their principles, their way of living and ultimately ending up at their destinies.
Nor stands submissive and inactive in the path where sinners walk:
You might not be directly committing a sin, but taking a neutral stand when people around you are doing it would mean that you are indirectly propagating the wrong. The grace with which Jesus handled woman caught in adultery was followed by a loving command to not sin anymore. (John 8:11) Yes, we are not supposed to be judgmental, but we should be open about our views on how we define ‘What Sin is!’
Nor sits down to relax and rest where the scornful and the mockers gather:
This is when we start to enjoy the product of other people’s sin! It could be as simple as receiving a financial gift gained by illegal means. When we start to enjoy the fruits from the trees where sin and ungodliness was sown, we are directly partnering with them in the original sin. Yes, it was not Adam who got deceived by the serpent, but he did enjoy the fruit along with Eve! That makes him a 100% partner in Sin!
But his delight and desire are in the law of the Lord:
The only way to not allow ungodliness influence you is by allowing God, His word and His spirit to influence you all through the day (and night) as the psalmist says! It is not possible, practical or ethical to cut off your relationship with all ungodly people everywhere. As apostle Paul would say, we would have to walk out of our homes, schools, colleges, offices and even CHURCHES if we try to do that! (1 Cor 5:10) But if the word of God has a much greater control over my heart and mind than my friends at college or work, then there’s no way that they can harm or influence me in anyway.
Thermometer or Thermostat?
The question at the end of the day is not whether we should hang out with unbelievers, but the real question is ‘How we should be when we are with unbelievers?’ The thermometer adjusts to the temperature of the room, while the thermostat sets the temperature of the room! Jesus did hang out with the worst known sinners of his time, but he set the temperature of the room instead of getting influenced by them. In the Jewish tradition, a person with an issue of blood is unclean and everyone that person touches will be made unclean. But Jesus was so full of his Father that when the lady with the issue of blood touched the hem of his garment, she got healed and cleansed! That’s what we are supposed to do, not be influenced by the world around but to influence them.
Have you had challenging times to keep off of ungodly influence? What do you do to guard your heart and mind?