‘Bad’ Company

Oh, the joys of those who do not follow evil men’s advice, who do not hang around with sinners, scoffing at the things of God. But they delight in doing everything God wants them to, and day and night are always meditating on his laws and thinking about ways to follow him more closely. Psalms 1:1,2 TLB

These two verses have caused some confusion in Christian circles, and mostly because the first verse is rendered in the KJV as: Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. Can you see the difference of emphasis in each version?

Some read this Psalm as an excuse to avoid the contact and friendship of sinners, while forgetting  that we are all sinners in the sight of a Holy God. It can then follow that we only seek out the good and pure as our chosen circle of friends and shut out the rest. There are denominations that set themselves up as ‘separate’ from the rest of the world, whether Christian or not. Others will actively seek out their own inner circle of confidants to the expense of their own ability to witness and minister to the fallen and hurting.

We certainly should not ‘follow evil men’s advice’ or ‘hang around with sinners scoffing at the things of God’ but there is nothing that suggests we should separate ourselves from them completely. Otherwise how can we live up to the great commission of reaching the world with the saving gospel of Jesus? Let’s use all the resources at our disposal to rightly divide and discern the Word of God’s truth, and not fall into the convenient trap of interpreting verses to suit our own thinking.

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5 thoughts on “‘Bad’ Company

  1. Enjoying the the company of sinners will eventually, gradually cause a servant of God to experience spiritual “shipwreck” in their relationship with God and fellow christians. The Bible says at 1st Corinthians 15:33: DO NOT be mislead. Bad association spoils useful habits (or corrupts good morals). If a christian, outside of being married to a non-believer, regularly mingles, parties, and associates with people who have no love and respect for God, the Bible, and a true Christian’s beliefs, that person can be said to enjoy “Bad” company or “bad association”. A Christian will not fare well spiritually speaking in God’s eyes.
    The Bible says at Proverbs 13:20: “The one walking with the wise will become wise, but the one who has dealings with the stupid will fare badly.”

    There are some situations where it’s impossible not to be around worldly individuals who are bad company and association, because of work or school, this is understandable. Also, when a Christian wants to share his/her faith with others who are non-believers, this too, is understandable. But to deliberately choose to be in or enjoy the company of those who God considers “bad association and bad company” tells or shows something about that christian’s heart condition, as well as their quality and level of spirituality.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to reply. I do agree that we should not ‘enjoy’ the company of unbelievers to the detriment of our own walk. There is a line to be drawn and we dare not confuse or cross it. Blessings!

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