A few nights ago I was watching an episode of a popular reality series on television. After a while, I became increasingly uncomfortable with the language and content of the humor. Don’t get me wrong, it was entertainingly funny. My concern was simply that repeated exposure to the type of worldview expressed in this show and others like it was slowly desensitizing my sensibility thus having an impact on my overall view as a Christian. I admit there are definitely times when I’ve caught myself repeating some objectionable phrases, or embracing some ungodly ideas, or even modeling a behavior, simply because I heard, or watched it repeatedly in some program, movie, or overheard and even participated in a series of conversations at work. It’s one thing to be physically located in these environments; however, it’s another thing altogether to draw from them as a source of information or even entertainment. I turned the channel as watching any further only demonstrated my implicit approval and I wanted to stop before my view became permanently altered.
Separating the evil from our lives has become even more essential since our homes are equipped to bring much of what the Lord has condemned into our living rooms if we are not vigilant. Believers in Jesus Christ are simply in the world—physically present—but not of it, not part of its value systems – John 17:14-15. We are not to immerse ourselves in what the world values, nor are we to chase after worldly pleasures. Selfish pleasure is no longer our calling in life, as it once was, but rather the worship of God.
In 1 Corinthians 6:9 the Apostle Paul warned the Corinthians not to be deceived. He cautioned them not to take up the lifestyles of corrupt people — those who will not inherit the kingdom of God. Paul knew how easy it is for people to be influenced by such adverse teachings and unmoral behavior. If not checked at the very beginning, they could begin to adopt such perverted ideas and behaviors as normal. Before you realize it you are no longer of Christ, but of the world with its denial of absolute authority, its rejection of the Bible as the Word of God, and its ideology of relative morality.
The point Paul makes to the Corinthians then and there, remains relevant for all people of all ages here and now. When we associate with or take delight in the company of people with worldly morals, we run the risk of mimicking their behaviors, their language, and their habits. For this reason, Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:33 quotes the Greek dramatist Menander in the text stated “Bad company corrupts good character” (NIV) No doubt this well-known proverb was equal as popular in his time as it is today.
One of the most difficult challenges in our lives is to be in the world but not of the world – John 15:19. In our personal lives, we should avoid the sometimes evil and destructive pursuits of the world—especially when they are contrary to the gospel standards. We should not be caught up in the current trends of society, never allowing your point of location to become your source of information when it is not in harmony with revealed truth. We are not to engage in the sinful activities the world promotes, nor are we to retain the weak, corrupt mind that the world creates. Rather, we are to conform ourselves, and our minds, to that of Jesus Christ (Romans 12:1-2). It is not a one-time proposition but a daily activity and lifelong commitment.
While it’s true no one is perfect, and all have made mistakes, and most of us will probably make many more before this life is done. However, don’t be deceived or fool yourself, you can’t follow Jesus, live in God’s house, while dancing and partying with the devil – 1 John 2:15-16 says ‘Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life is not from the Father but is from the world.” God wants us to remain faithful to His standards and not partake of the evils of the world. At the same time, He expects us to be a good influence on those around us. So, what are we to do? Paul provides us the answer at the very end of Chapter 15: “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you.
Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58). As parents, we stand firm against ungodly influences that may corrupt our children. As Christians, we stand firm against those who would corrupt our life, our walk with Christ.