Today I discovered that my bag of potatoes contained one rotten spud. Having heard the old analogy about “one bad spoils the whole basket,” I decided to do an experiment.
Over the next several weeks, I made numerous observations about my sack of potatoes. The analogy turned out to be true. When a rotten potato was left against a good potato, in time; the good veggie started developing rot.
Interestingly, when the good potato was washed and dried everyday it did not develop the rot. Although, only with daily washing did the good spud continue to be good. However, being with the good potato still didn’t make the bad one change to good. The only way the bad vegetable became good was to clean it, remove the bad spots and quickly involve it in a recipe.
If we make worldly people our constant companions, we can be influenced by their worldly ways. It is much easier for a Christian to take on the characteristics of the world than for the world to take on the attributes of Christ. (Jeremiah 17:9)
Whenever we fellowship with an unsaved friend, we need to make note of where we are in our personal relationship with Christ. Through the blood of Christ, daily washing in the water of the Word in Bible study and fellowship with believers, we can maintain our walk with our Lord. (Romans 12:2 & I John 1:7)
But, only if we are diligent with the things of God can we maintain our own spiritual integrity. If we find ourselves spending less time in prayer and Bible study and finding reasons to miss church, we need to recognize influence and step away from our “friend.”
Simply being with a Christian doesn’t make a sinner a Christian. The only way the friend will be saved is to become born again as a new creation. (II Corinthians 5:17) Should my friend resist my repeated efforts to be led to Christ; it is better to move away from my friend than to compromise my relationship with my Lord. Scripture confirms the influence that friends can have on our lives. (Proverbs 12:26)
It’s important that I be truthful with my self as I look at my friendships. The influence of a friend can influence my relationship with Jesus. I must guard my heart and be consistent in Bible study and prayer. There is a difference between being a witness for Christ and being friends with the world.
James 4:4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
Prayer: Father, God, help me to be diligent in Bible study and conversation with you so that my eyes and my heart recognize sin. Make me aware of every opportunity to lead those around me to salvation. Show me how to influence them to follow Christ and keep me sensitive to your Spirit so I’m aware if their influence begins to harm me. Amen.
Jeremiah 17:9 The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is his good, pleasing and perfect will.
I John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
II Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
Proverbs 12:26 A righteous man is cautious in friendship, but the way of the wicked leads them astray