Bad Company

Art Lucero

"Do not be misled:  Bad company corrupts good character."  I Corinthians 15:33

Is it wrong for Christians to have unsaved friendships?  No, so long as we are in control of the environment and do not allow ourselves to be drawn into ungodly behavior.

As a new convert, I made a list of my closest friends to let them know that I had received Christ and would no longer participate in activities that we practiced.  I sought out new friends in the church to fill the need for friendships that would strengthen my walk with God.

Then Dave walked into my place of employment, a restaurant with a cocktail lounge, where I worked as an Assistant Manager.  For the year that I worked there, I had been sharing my faith and striving to model a godly lifestyle.  It had been at least four years since I ran into Dave.  He invited me into the lounge.  As I sat across from him, I told him about my relationship with Jesus Christ.  "Yeah, I heard that you became a Christian and I respect that.  My parents were Christians and I grew up going to church."  The waitress came over and asked Dave if he wanted a drink.  "Sure.  Art, what do you want, the usual?"  "Dave, I don't drink anymore."  "Come on, just one for old times sake.  I promise that I won't think any less of you."  I sat there wrestling with the thought, "Should I, or shouldn't I?"  Big mistake if you have to ask yourself for permission to do something that you know to be wrong.  The door of temptation just flew wide open.

"Okay," I said, "just one drink."  As I glanced up, the waitress just stood there and stared at me.  When she delivered the drinks, she didn't leave.  I looked down at the glass and slowly reached for it.  As I lifted the glass and touched the liquid to my lips, Dave said with a joyous laugh..."Now that's the old Art Lucero I use to know!"  "But, I'm not the same Art Lucero you use to know", I thought to myself.  But to Dave, my actions told a different story.  The waitress looked down at me and said, "I was starting to believe everything you were saying, but I guess that you're no different than the rest of us."  Then she walked away.  From the corner of my eye, I could see her talking to a group of employees that had gathered around her.  Dave was laughing and talking, but I didn't hear a word.  I was overwhelmed with conviction.  All I could think about was, "I just blew my testimony for the Lord." 

The scriptures do not forbid us from having relationships with the unsaved (I Corinthians 5:9-10).  It is among them that we are to share the gospel with.  But we are told this, "Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart."  (II Timothy 2:22).

1 comment (Add your own)

1. Jennifer wrote:
Wow Art - thanks for sharing such a personal moment in your walk. I think all of us have been faced with a similar situation - and your illustration shows exactly how that "one drink" can make a difference for a non-believer. We must "stick to our guns" and follow Christ. We won't always make the right choices, but as you stated, when we have to ask ourselves if it's an issue - it most likely is! Thanks for sharing!

Tue, June 14, 2011 @ 8:01 AM

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