1 Corinthians 15:33
Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”
There was a time in my former life when I was a heavy smoker. I was not a person who just smoked because I was addicted, but rather I actually loved to. This was in the time where most restaurants still had a smoking section. One of my favorite hang out places literally divided smoking and non-smoking by an imaginary line only. Walk in, smokers to the left, non-smokers to the right.
In this time of my life I believed all non-smokers were just complainers. They can’t surely be affected way over there in their own section! Oh, how deceived I was! It’s been years since the New York smoking ban in restaurants and almost as long since I finally quit. Recently, in my travels I went to a place where smoking is permitted everywhere. As we were checking into the hotel, I felt like I was being choked out, had a hard time breathing, and thought, “I used to put that garbage directly into my lungs!” No wonder at 28 years old, I was winded climbing a simple flight of stairs!
The purpose of this Faith Fix is not to condemn smokers, not in the least. I don’t believe smoking will keep you from Heaven though it could certainly get you there prematurely! The purpose is found in the above scripture that I started with. 1 Corinthians 15:33, “Do not be deceived: Evil company corrupts good habits.” Just like the smoking section with the imaginary wall of separation, people get deceived not realizing the effects of being in close proximity of bad things or people. Now let’s keep this balanced. Like the hotel I was staying at, occasionally being in the presence of evil will not cause me to be winded. It’s when we choose a lifestyle of saturation, that we get corrupted.
Corruption is an interesting word and a good choice to be used here in this scripture. Corruption does not generally happen over night, but through prolonged exposure. Like smoking a cigarette once will more than likely not cause cancer, doing it repeatedly over the course of time will. Herein is where people get deceived and the devil knows it! Slow but consistent manipulation and influence from the wrong things will absolutely affect you negatively. It will affect your faith, your choices, and thus your actions. Do not be deceived.
There will be some that say, “Well Jesus hung out with sinners!” That’s not entirely and fully true. Jesus went into the world, all the disciples did too, but it was always stressed to spend time with God. They would separate themselves to refresh in His presence and Word. If I miss church for more than a week, or if I haven’t spent much time in the Word and prayer, I start to notice the effects in every area of my life. I must be refreshed. I must be renewed! This is a very important understanding and it is completely scriptural. Romans 12:2 tells us all about that. If you will not be renewed in your mind, you will lose sight of God’s will. Failure is then just a short time away!
As we come out of a busy holiday season, let’s make sure that we refocus our hearts and minds on what really matters. Let’s hit the ground running in this new year, getting refreshed in His presence! Let’s make it our aim to have more of God in our day this year then ever before. I would bet that if we determine to make Him our focus, this will be our greatest year yet!