1 Corinthians 5:9-11
Choosing Our Friends…
Paul’s teaching may not be popular by today’s standard, but there is truth in what he writes:
“I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people, not at all referring to the immoral of this world or the greedy and robbers or idolaters; for you would then have to leave the world. But I now write to you not to associate with anyone named a brother, if he is immoral, greedy, an idolater, a slanderer, a drunkard, or a robber, not even to eat with such a person.” -1 Corinthians 5:9-11, NAB
Making the choice to cover a topic like this, as unpopular as it may be, was tough, but I will not sugarcoat the Scripture for popularity’s sake. Paul challenges the Corinthians to be careful who they associate with. In one sense, he is saying that it would be impossible to completely avoid immoral people. To completely avoid them, one would have to leave this world, literally, but we can choose who we associate with. We have all been put in the situation where someone close to us is doing wrong, but the decisions we make can differ. Do we follow the path of the sinner just to be accepted by them? Or, do we follow the example Christ set for us, no matter how unpopular it may be?
We live in a society that is slowly degrading and giving in to its sinful nature. Unfortunately, we must live in this world, but we can still choose to not live of the world. While we cannot separate ourselves completely from society, we can choose who we surround ourselves with. If we surround ourselves with people making poor choices, we have an excellent chance to help them and evangelize, but we are also at risk to fall victim to the same sins. However, if we choose to surround ourselves with people making the right choices, making the right choices only becomes easier in our own lives. There is no easy answer. We cannot cut ourselves off from society, especially our family and friends that may not see life the same way as us, but at the same time, we must not fall into the same pitfalls and traps as they do. What’s the difference? Well, the choice is up to you: popularity in this world or treasures in heaven. What will you do?