WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JULY 9TH, 2021
TOPIC: AVOID WRONG COMPANY
BY T. O. BANSO
“Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can goodness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and the Devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever? And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God” (2 Corinthians 6:14-16 New Living Translation).
Be careful whom you make your friends. Be mindful of those you hang out with and where you go. An undergraduate student who was a son of a pastor was, unfortunately, killed some years back at a place he was hanging out with some people. He was stabbed while trying to make peace between two people who were fighting over a girl.
From available reports, he was a good boy. Although I don’t have all the details, it appears the death was avoidable if he had not been with the wrong people. As the saying goes, “Show me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are.” Perhaps a truer statement is “Show me who your friends are, and I will tell you what you will become.”
Relationships are vital to greatness in life. Whom you walk with determines what you will become. You can’t want to be a professor and be walking intimately with those who hate academics or those who are truants in school.
Nobody comes into your life and leaves you the same. He either adds to you or removes from you. He either lifts you up or pulls you down. He either encourages you or discourages you. If you want a better life and a glorious future, choose the right company. Don’t walk with those who have wrong values and are engaged in pleasure and frivolities.
No matter the potential you have, a wrong company will only help you to amount to nothing. Wrong relationships will seep out your potential; they will help you to become a nobody. It is better to stand alone than to be in the wrong company.
1 Corinthians 15:33 says, “Do not be deceived: ‘Evil company corrupts good habits’” (New King James Version). Also, Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, a friend sharpens a friend” (New Living Translation). If you use an “unsharpened person” to sharpen yourself, you may soon become dull like the person.
Ecclesiastes 10:10 says, “If the ax is dull, and one does not sharpen the edge, Then he must use more strength; but wisdom brings success” (New King James Version). Wisdom dictates that if you are serious about being sharpened, you look for someone as sharp as you or even sharper than you, not a dull person. If you are in the company of those who are not heading for a future similar to what you desire for yourself, they will take you to where they’re going.
A wise person chooses his friends carefully. “The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray” (Proverbs 12:26 New King James Version). Because relationships are vital to greatness in life, the righteous don’t go into a relationship with just anyone. God warned Judah not to join Israel in her idolatry but to leave her to face the consequences of her rebellion (Hosea 4:15-19).
2 Corinthians 6:14-16 says, “Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can goodness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and the Devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever? And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God” (New Living Translation). This scripture refers to intermarriage but it is not limited to it. Avoid intimate association or fellowship with non-believers that could make you partake of their sins.
Even among believers, choose your friends carefully. Paul wrote to the Corinthian church that they should not keep company with anyone named a brother, who was sexually immoral, or covetous, an idolater, a reviler, a drunkard, or an extortioner — not even to eat with such a person (1 Corinthians 5:11).
Your future is going to be determined largely by the type of people you keep company with. If they are wrong people, they will impact your life and future negatively. The Bible says, “Whoever walks with the wise will become wise; whoever walks with fools will suffer harm” (Proverbs 13:20 New Living Translation). Another version says, “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed” (New King James Version).
Psalm 1:1-3 says, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper” (Psalm 1:1-3 New King James Version).
Nobody’s future can be brighter than the quality of the relationships he has. You must keep godly company to positively realize a great future. Those who have in their lives wrong people as advisers, mentors, or role models, prepare for themselves a future of regrets.
Amnon, David’s oldest son, had a wrong friend in Jonadab and he died prematurely. Anyone who has as a friend someone who encourages and teaches him how to carry out evil desires should not look outside for his enemies. He should start with his friend. That friend is his number one enemy. A God-fearing friend would have silenced Amnon and told him to perish the thought of sleeping with his half-sister (2 Samuel 13:1-4).
But Jonadab the son of Shimeah, David’s brother described as a very crafty man gave him a satanic counsel. “So Jonadab said to him, ‘Lie down on your bed and pretend to be ill. And when your father comes to see you, say to him, ‘Please let my sister Tamar come and give me food, and prepare the food in my sight, that I may see it and eat it from her hand’” (verses 5-6 New King James Version).
Amnon carried out the plot successfully and raped Tamar. Unknown to him, however, he had only signed his death warrant! Two years later, he reaped what he had sown. Absalom, Tamar’s brother from the same parents, avenged the evil Amnon did to Tamar. He murdered him (2 Samuel 13:23-29).
You didn’t choose your relations; the relationship is biological. But the company you keep is your decision. Friendship is by choice, not by force. Friendship is one of the ships sailing on the sea of life! We have other ships such as courtship and partnership. Be careful the ships you board in life. Don’t voyage with a Jonah. He might cause a mighty tempest on the sea threatening to break the ship. Calm will not be restored until you separate from your Jonah (Jonah 1:1-15).
Don’t keep company with people who teach you to do evil. Separate from people who encourage you to sin. Don’t associate with people who are bad examples to you. You don’t need in your life friends who cannot tell you the truth and correct you when you are doing what is wrong. Amnon suffered an untimely death because Jonadab whom he discussed his sinful desire with was not a righteous person. If he were, he would not have taught him how to rape his half-sister.
Unfortunately, after Amnon was murdered, Jonadab told David, “Let not my lord suppose they have killed all the young men, the king’s sons, for only Amnon is dead. For by the command of Absalom this has been determined from the day that he forced his sister Tamar. Now therefore, let not my lord the king take the thing to his heart, to think that all the king’s sons are dead. For only Amnon is dead” (2 Samuel 13:32-33 New King James Version).
Did you notice that Jonadab didn’t mention that he taught Amnon how to rape his sister? Don’t surround yourself with wicked people – people who have no fear of God and whose lives are not controlled by the Word of God and the Spirit of God. If you follow a piece of bad advice or example, you are still responsible for your sin. It is your fault although those who influence you are guilty too.
Don’t go into wrong relationships that you will regret later, whether it is in marriage, business, academics, career, or ministry. Dinah would not have been defiled by Shechem if she had not gone to see the daughters of the land.
It was probably her desire for relationships that put her in that trouble. Remember, Dinah’s mother, Leah, was not loved by Dinah’s father, Jacob (Genesis 29:30-33). We don’t know if this affected her negatively and she went out to see the daughters of the land where Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country raped her (Genesis 34:1-2). It is better to stand alone than to be in a wrong relationship.
Don’t open your life to just anybody; don’t go into a relationship with just anyone. You need only quality, godly relationships, and prayerfully let God lead you into relationships that will impact your destiny positively.
Avoid going into relationships that will drain you spiritually, physically, and emotionally and leave you empty. It could even drain you financially and leave you in penury. Many are victims already. And there are others in such relationships but are yet to start seeing the consequences.
Israel was guilty of going into such a relationship. The Lord said, “My people of Israel mingle with godless foreigners, picking up their evil ways. Now they have become as worthless as a half-baked cake! Worshiping foreign gods has sapped their strength, but they don’t even know it. Israel is like an old man with graying hair, unaware of how weak and old he has become” (Hosea 7:8-9 New Living Translation).
Proverbs 14:7 says you should go from the presence of a foolish man when you do not perceive in him the lips of knowledge. Don’t make friends with an angry man (Proverbs 22:24). Don’t compromise with the wicked; it is like polluting a fountain or muddying a spring (Proverbs 25:26). David said he did not spend time with liars or go along with hypocrites. He said he hated the gatherings of those who did evil and refused to join in with the wicked (Psalm 26:4-5).
Be careful with the company you keep. Repent and quit ungodly company today.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: I repent of the wrong relationships I am in that are draining me spiritually, physically, and emotionally. Father, I receive your wisdom and strength to terminate such relationships in Jesus’ name. I shall no longer walk in the counsel of the ungodly, stand in the path of sinners, or sit in the seat of the scornful. My delight shall be in Your Word and I shall meditate in it day and night in Jesus’ name.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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