"But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from
among yourselves" - 1Corinthians 5:13
I start the New Year with another installment of my look into 1 Corinthians. In chapter 5, Paul admonishes the church at Corinth to cleanse themselves of sexual immorality. He simultaneously rebukes the sin and warns the church not to focus on rebuking sin in the entire world, but rather only their congregation.
This reminds me of some bit of wisdom from my mother when I was young; she said that you are who you surround yourself with. Your friends are like mirrors for who you are. If you find yourself surrounded by mean, wicked people, you are, at best, condoning and enabling that behavior. At worst, you are yourself, mean and wicked.
The correllary is also true. If you surround yourself with righteous, good, and godly people, you yourself cannot help but move in that direction yourself. I think that is why the small group model for discipleship is so effective. You end up becoming close friends with the people in your group and you are automatically self-selecting good, decent people to be in your life, befriend you, and encourage you when you need it.
Like most, if not all of my experience since becoming a Christian is that the Bible never ceases to amaze me and prove that it is, in fact, the font of all wisdom...and true.