Do no be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
You may have heard it said, “You become like the five people you spend the most time with; choose carefully”. The bible is full of instruction about whom we are to associate with and how to conduct our relationships. In this passage, Paul is addressing the church at Corinth about associating with nonbelievers- specifically those who do not believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. However, this verse can be applied to any relationship that would hinder your relationship with Jesus.
Here are some questions that I have learned to ask myself:
Am I influencing my non-Christian friends towards Christ or are they infecting me with their unbelief?
Am I compromising my character by being in this relationship? Are my friends’ givers or takers?
Does this relationship compromise my mental and/or spiritual health?
It is very difficult to evaluate our relationships and even more difficult to detach from unhealthy ones. Sometimes our fear of being alone keeps us from removing ourselves from harmful situations but we cannot let fear stop us. We must take an honest look at our relationships and determine if the people we surround ourselves with are helping us get better or if they are making us worse.
I would also add that it is equally, if not more, important to take an honest look at ourselves. This can be an extremely uncomfortable process, decide to do it anyway! Pray and ask the Lord to reveal to you the areas of your life that need healing, correcting, and changing. Then do what you can to work on what God reveals to you and God will do what you cannot do. The Lord is full of grace and gentleness, not abrasiveness. As God reveals your true self to you be sure to give yourself grace and remember that you are striving for healthy - not perfect.
If you do find that you need to detach from certain relationships be assured that the Lord will supply people for your life. He will not leave you or forsake you! I went through several lonely seasons as I was shedding the old me. I do not despise that time though, looking back I see it as a training ground of sorts, where I learned the Holy Spirit as my best friend. I learned to remedy loneliness with His presence. I can remember crying and telling God that I was so tired of being alone and just going on and on with my woe’s when I heard God say, “you have the Trinity and three or more is always a party!”. I remember this being such a huge revelation for me. I immediately stopped crying and said through all of the snot and remnant tears, “I AM NOT ALONE!!”
If it is true for me then it is true for you too! You are not alone, dear friends! My prayer is that we would learn to make healthy decisions for ourselves and that we would cast off fear in Jesus name. Amen.