“Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company corrupts good morals.’” This small verse in 1 Corinthians 15 is a powerful warning. An overly confident Christian who believes he can uphold his morals no matter who he spends time with is playing with fire.
A natural result of being a child of God is that the company of people with little or no love for God is just not enjoyable. It’s not that you look down on them, it’s just that they’re incapable of seeing the world with spiritual eyes and offer nothing to your life whatsoever. The inspiring quotes they post on social media don’t prove that they serve Jesus as their Lord and don’t qualify them as “good company.” On the other hand, if you’re born of God, you’re automatically fascinated by those who love and know God too, and you want to be as close to them as possible. If that isn’t happening, maybe it’s time to question whether you even have God’s nature yet. (Just an FYI: Christian celebrities and church leaders may have a lot of admirers, but are not always true Christians. Look for the fruit of their conduct and the testimony of their lives, not their popularity.)
Lot made the worst choices when it came to the company he kept. Lot had journeyed with his uncle Abraham through the wilderness until they finally settled in the Promised Land. Lot knew about God, His amazing promises, His faithfulness as they traveled, and about Abraham’s fierce devotion to this unseen God. Lot was a good man, but good wasn’t enough. Sure, he believed in God – he just didn’t value Him very highly. When Abraham gave Lot a chance to settle wherever he wanted, Lot greedily chose the greenest and most fertile land, leaving his uncle to fend for himself in the desert. Abraham didn’t complain, because he trusted that God would take care of him no matter where he settled, which is exactly what happened. But that tempting green land was actually the land of Sodom and Gomorrah, and a few chapters later, the Bible shows us that Lot didn’t just settle in the area, he had no qualms about moving right into the city of Sodom itself.
Most of you know the story of how God had to send angels to warn Lot to pack up his family and run for their lives, not even to look back. Sodom and Gomorrah were so full of evil, perversity, and sexual abuse that God had to destroy them with fire and brimstone. But the story also depicts how entrenched and comfortable Lot’s family was in Sodom. Some of his daughters had married men from there who only laughed at Lot when he gave them the angel’s warnings. Lot’s wife was so attached to Sodom that she looked back at her home and turned into a pillar of salt. Widowed and homeless, Lot and his two unmarried daughters ran and hid in the mountains, in caves, barely escaping destruction by the mercy of God. Why didn’t he decide to rejoin Abraham and Sarah? Why didn’t they cry out to God and seek His guidance, or at least offer prayers of thanksgiving for having their skins saved? Lot and his daughters believed in God, but were calloused toward Him. They’d been influenced by life in Sodom, where God had been put on a shelf.
The unthinkable happened next. Lot’s daughters were convinced they there was no hope for the future. They were living like animals in a cave with no prospects for a husband, so they devised a plan to get their own father drunk on wine and sleep with him while he was unconscious. Their incestuous pregnancies brought about sons. The descendants of each son became the Moabites and the Ammonites – two of the enemy nations that hated and tormented Israel for generations. Their demon-influenced choices mushroomed into hundreds of years of bloodshed and misery. But it all started when Lot was so reckless that he thought he could mix his faith in God with the enjoyment of worldly company.
Don’t overestimate your spirituality, and don’t underestimate the potential repercussions of reckless choices. We all need to be sharpened and uplifted with the faith of others who are stronger, or just as strong as we are. I’ve seen too many people receive answers to prayer, get baptized and then drift off with that overconfident attitude that they know what they’re doing and can handle life alone. The Body of Christ is meant to be a lifeline for all of us. The more we love Him, the more we long to be connected to each other, to be more connected to Him.
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 scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season; its leaf will not wither, and whatever he does will prosper. Psalm 1:1-3 MEV