Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners– 1 Corinthians 15:33
Sinful companionship will corrupt a good lifestyle. You may ignore this truth, you may deny it, you may wish it were not so; but the truth still remains that close friendship with ungodly persons will always have a negative impact on your Christian walk.
This is why Paul exhorts in 2 Corinthians, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” (6:14). Of course, we are to reach out to, and show genuine love toward, unbelievers. But witnessing to an unbeliever and closely embracing an unbeliever are two different things.
As if knowing this would be an area where we might justify compromises to ourselves, Paul says, do not be deceived! No matter how much you may justify this friendship to yourself, you cannot change the spiritual reality. If you are yoked in a romantic relationship, a business partnership, or a close camaraderie with an unbeliever, the idolatry of their heart and the faithlessness of their worldview will inevitably become a stumbling block for you.
We do not like to think of friends or acquaintances as being “evil”, but anything that draws you away from a single-minded pursuit of Christ will have an evil effect on your life. Their intentions may not be evil, their lifestyle may not appear evil, but if their faith is not in Christ then their effect on you will be evil.
Are you deceived about the nature and outcome of some company you are keeping? Are you allowing the unbelief of others to dim the fire of your own passion for God and his glory?