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God’s Warnings

About Certain Types

Of Relationships


When we take seriously God’s emphasis on relationships, we must also take seriously the warnings He gives about relationships with people who have certain characteristics, and the warnings about how those relationships can damage our relationship with God and with others. 

It is natural for us to want to fit in with others.  I remember in high school, I would try to fit in in situations with others.  In some of these situations and some of my relationships, I compromised my standards.  In relationships with non-Christians, Christians will often compromise their standards.

The following verse shows God’s warning about the company we keep and how they can cause us to compromise ourselves.

1 Corinthians 15:33 "Do not be deceived:

Bad company ruins good morals.”

It might seem contradictory that God would warn about “Bad Company” while also emphasize having love for others and considering them above ourselves, as this verse in Philippians indicates:

Philippians 2:3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

Remember that having a love for others and serving them is not necessarily the same as having them as very good friends.  You can share God’s love with others without conforming to their sin.  A saying that illustrates this is,

Be in the world but not of the world”

This phrase comes from the following passage:

John 17:14–15   "I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.  I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one"


How can believers be in the world, but not of the world?


The following link is a preview of Hugh Hewitt’s book on the subject: 

In, But Not Of: A Guide to Christian Ambition and the Desire to Influence the World - Hugh Hewitt   

You can preview the book here:

Here are additional verses showing the clear recommendation from the Bible to stay out of relationships with individuals with certain character traits:

Romans 16:17  Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them.

Proverbs 4:14-15  Do not enter the path of the wicked And do not proceed in the way of evil men. Avoid it, do not pass by it; Turn away from it and pass on.

Proverbs 13:20  He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.

2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?

Proverbs 14:7  Leave the presence of a fool, Or you will not discern words of knowledge.

Some Christians have been known to do what has been called “Missionary Dating”, believing that they can date a non-Christian with the goal of having the non-Christian become a Christian.  However, what typically happens when a Christian dates a non-Christian is that the Christian compromises their standards to try to appeal to the non-Christian rather than providing any motivation for the non-Christian to change their standards.  After all, if the Christian will compromise what they say they believe, then those beliefs can't be very strong, and what they believe not be worth believing.

When you think about it, do you have greater respect for someone who demonstrates a commitment to what they believe, even if you don’t share their belief, or do you have a greater respect for someone who is wishy washy in their beliefs?  Most of us respect a person more who is committed to what they believe.  If you are a Christian and you are willing to be flexible with your standards, you show that you are not committed to what you say you believe, that it’s not really that important to you.  If you show that what you believe isn’t that important, then why would a non-Christian have any reason to think of it as important and seriously consider it?  If you are a Christian and are in a relationship like this, I recommend that you end it before you compromise your standards.  This is something I can confirm from my own experience.

The Bible emphasizes the importance of living consistent with our Christian standards and not compromising.  Because of the high price Christ paid to save us, He deserves our obedience and also that we not compromise our standards.

Romans 12:1  I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20   Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God;

Romans 12:2  Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what the will of God is, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

John 14:15   “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

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