It doesn’t matter where you are, there is always a bad crowd. There is always a group of people who have a terrible reputation for behaving inappropriately, disrespecting authority, and getting pleasure from doing inappropriate things. These people need love, and they need Christ, but for some reason, the Bible clearly tells us that it is a good thing to avoid these people.
Psalms 1:1 tells us, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.” In Psalm 26, David tells the Lord, “I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers. I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked.”
You may think, “Didn’t Jesus spend time with sinners?” And that is correct, He did.
If we’re not careful, we can easily become confused by this apparent contradiction, but in reality, it is quite simple. If we read Psalm 51, we find that David asks that God restore to him the joy of his salvation. David says, “Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.” How would David teach transgressors, if he never spent any time with them? The answer is obvious. David obviously spent time with sinners, vain men, transgressors, and other ungoldly people, he simply did not acquire them as choice companions.
In the same manner, Jesus spend countless hours ministering to sinners and publicans, but He did not choose to commune with them 24/7. Jesus took time apart with the twelve, with the inner circle, and then with God alone. Just like that, we must be cautious about who we spend our time with. There is something to be said for ministering to everyone, obviously it is necessary, but God does not want us to find our close companionship with those who reject Him and mock His laws.
As a fellow Christian, I challenge you, be careful who you become close to. Don’t unlovingly shun sinful people, but don’t invite them to your inner circle. As 2 Corinthians 6:15 says, ” what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?” Learn to love and minister to others while keeping a distance that provides for your spiritual health. Be wise and discerning about how you spend your time and with whom.
As Jesus did, we must keep the proper balance between loving sinful people, and preserving our walk with God. When we keep that balance, we will have the pleasure of teaching transgressors God’s ways, while keeping ourselves unspotted from the world.