Here are seven bible verses about the influence of bad friends or being in evil company.
Proverbs 13:20 “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”
We are called out of darkness and into the light so why would we ever want to go back to walking in darkness again? That’s exactly what we do when we walk with fools who are headed to suffer harm. Sooner or later, walking in the darkness of the world with the world will cause us to stumble and fall. We can end up paying the same penalty as the lost do if we continue to walk with them. I would rather hang around those who are wise in the hopes of learning from them than walk with those who are headed for eventual harm.
First Corinthians 15:33 “Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”
We tend to become more like those we hang around with and no more so than when running with the unsaved of the world. They can ruin our godly morals and ruin our judgment very quickly and we can be deceived if we’re not careful. It’s so much harder to resist temptation to sin when those around you are already doing it. You’re the round peg in a square hole in those instances so why try to fit it where you’re not supposed to?
Psalm 1:1 “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.”
Is there no shortage of scoffers today? I don’t want to sit in the same seats as the scoffers do nor do I want to stand in the way of sinners, which probably means stand in the same places that sinners generally stand. If you are continually standing with them and sitting with them in places you’re not supposed to be in, you might find yourself standing where they will stand before the judgment seat of Jesus Christ (Rev 20:12-15). I know you don’t want that. The Apostle Peter reminded the church “that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires” (2nd Pet 3:3) and Jude wrote that “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions” (Jude 1:18).
Proverbs 14:7 “Leave the presence of a fool, for there you do not meet words of knowledge.”
We are told to leave the presence of a fool. The Devil has to flee from us if we are submitting to God (James 4:7) but we must do our part too and that is to “leave the presence of a fool” but who is this fool Solomon writes about? God identifies the fool by what he “says in his heart, “There is no God” (Psalm 14:1). We must submit to God and His Word but also as Solomon wisely tells us, “leave the presence of a fool” or the one who says there is no God.
First Corinthians 5:11 “But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.”
This is as clear as it can be. We’re not to associate with those who are law breakers and committing sins such as sexual immorality but also drunkenness, swindling, and those who are consumed with greed. Paul think’s that this type of bad company could corrupt the Christians into sinning in similar fashion. We must not associate with them, meaning that they shouldn’t be our best friends who we run around with.
Psalm 26:4-5 “I do not sit with men of falsehood, nor do I consort with hypocrites. I hate the assembly of evildoers, and I will not sit with the wicked.”
The psalmist had the same idea that Paul would later write about and that is to not associate with men or women of falsehood and of hypocrisy. He refuses to sit with the wicked and assemble (or gather) with the evil because he knows that this is not the place for a man or woman of God to associated with. That is our past and some of us where these but not anymore since we’ve become new creations in Jesus Christ (2nd Cor 5:17).
Proverbs 22:24-25 “Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare.”
Some of my best friends are the godliest men I know. I make friends with them so that I might become more like then because just as bad company ruins our morals, good company can preserve our morals. The last person in the world I want to be friends with is someone with a short temper. They don’t have a problem with losing his temper; it’s the finding of their temper that’s the problem. Many years ago I had to ride with a co-worker until my car was fixed but he had the worst road rage of anyone I knew. I literally hated riding with him. He would seemingly drive so close to the car in front of us that he’d almost touch the back bumper. I was about as relieved as you can imagine when we finally got to work. I couldn’t wait to get out of that car. My inclination was that he wouldn’t make the best of friends…he gets angry too easily and I’m afraid it’s going to get him into deep trouble someday and I don’t want to be there when it happens.
I know that I am not anywhere close to perfect and never will be in this life but I do know enough to not hang around with certain people. It seems that some people are just destined to run into harm. They are a bad influence on their friends and they often convince them to do things that are contrary to common sense. If there is anything I hope you could learn from these verses it would be that “Bad company ruins good morals.”
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.