Despite the many avenues to keep oneself occupied and not feel lonely, the humans crave for companionship and friendship.We were not created to be loners. The internet, the television and the movies cannot supply the affection, compassion, or the human touch that people naturally long for. We need friends. The word of God gives us guide lines as to with whom to associate.
King David, whom many would have befriended said, 'I am a friend to all who fear you and all who follow your precepts.'[Psalms.119:63] This gives us a sound guide as to the choice of friends.
A friend is some one to whom you run for counsel or comfort. In times of adversity or prosperity a true friend is with you. Hours of leisure and entertainment become enjoyable when shared with friends. No wonder David desired to have some one who honored God, His words and laws as his friends. He did not want his friends to be of the world . Such friends would lead him away from God. He cherished his relationship with God.
Paul writing to the Corinthians said, 'I have written in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people.'He did not mean the people of this world, who are immoral or greedy, and swindlers or idolaters. In that case you will have to leave the world. He adds,' But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with any one who calls himself a BROTHER but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler, with such a man do not even eat.'[1stCor.5:9-11] What strong words of advice!
Here Paul makes it clear that we should not disassociate with unbelievers. How are we to show Christ and His light to them and bring them to Christ if we keep away from them? We are to distance our selves from those who claim to be Christians yet indulge in sins which are clearly forbidden in the scripture and rationalize their actions. Such are deceived. By rationalizing they not only harm others for whom Christ died but also dim the image of God in themselves.
Associating with such is forbidden because it defiles us and may reduce the desire we have for holiness. Even the church where they are is in peril: Their conduct will distort the picture of Christ that the Church is expected to present to the world. It the duty of the Church leaders to correct or deal with them in love Our duty is not to have friendly fellowship with them but to pray for them in love.
May the Lord help us to be prudent in the choice of our associates and friends.