Am I wrong for not hanging out with two old friends for being bad influences on me?
"Do not be deceived: "Bad company corrupts good morals"" (I Corinthians 15:33).
The people you hang around with do influence you and it is easier to be influenced to be bad than for you to influence others to be good. You have to put your foot down when people want you to do evil. "My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent" (Proverbs 1:10).
"How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers!" (Psalms 1:1). There are a series of progressions here:
- Walks - Stands - Sits
- Counsel - Path - Seat
- Ungodly - Sinners - Scornful
A man striving to be righteous will be much happier if he doesn't walk according to the advice of wicked people. This indicates more of a casual acquaintance. You are walk and just happen to be walking the same direction as the wicked, but, of course, doing so is dangerous because their destination is not where any righteous person wants to end up.
Nor should a man wanting to be righteous stand with sinners. Here is the image of actually standing around and talking with such people. It indicates you are giving some consideration to what they are saying.
But the worse situation is when you are sitting down with a meal with scoffers. You are fully in fellowship with them, showing your approval by hanging around with them. "If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds" (II John 10-11). Even if you claim you are not doing as they do, your actions tell a different story.