3 Subtly Dangerous Companions

Most people are aware that it’s important to choose our companions carefully—but have you considered that companions aren’t just limited to people? In this article, we’ll unpack what a companion is, some Scriptural warnings against poor companions, and three subtly dangerous companions that can pull us away from the Lord and His ways. And as a bonus, there’s a checklist towards the end of the article to help you discern whether any of these three companions are negatively impacting your life. Ready? Let’s get started!

What are Companions?

In Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, we can read the following definition:

COMPANION, noun

1. One who keeps company with another; one with whom a person frequently associates, and converses. It differs from friend, says Johnson, as acquaintance from confidence. The word does not necessarily imply friendship; but a companion is often or generally a friend.

2. One who accompanies another; as two persons meeting casually and traveling together are called companions. So soldiers are called companions in arms.

For greater clarity, let’s consider the meaning of the key words “associate”, “confidence”, and “friend.”

Clarifying Key Words

ASSO’CIATE, noun

1. A companion; one frequently in company with another, implying intimacy or equality; a mate; a fellow.

3. A companion in a criminal transaction; an accomplice.

Next, let’s definite “confidence.”

CON’FIDENCE, noun [Latin See Confide.]

1. A trusting, or reliance; an assurance of mind or firm belief in the integrity, stability or veracity of another, or in the truth and reality of a fact.

Finally, consider the definition of “friend.”

FRIEND, noun frend.

1. One who is attached to another by affection; one who entertains for another sentiments of esteem, respect and affection, which lead him to desire his company, and to seek to promote his happiness and prosperity; opposed to foe or enemy.

4. An attendant; a companion.

Summarizing Our Findings

From these definitions, we can draw the following conclusions regarding companions.

  • Companions are anyone (or anything) that we choose to keep company with.
  • The word “companion” implies a close/consistent friendship, attachment, or association.
  • The result of a companionship can be good or bad.
  • A companionship involves seeking the company of another.

Scriptural Warnings About Companions

The Bible makes it clear that companions play a significant role in people’s lives. For instance, we learn that godly friends can be a great blessing (for more information, see my article that’s titled The Importance of Having Godly Friends). In contrast, we are warned that bad companions can corrupt our character.

Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”

1 Corinthians 15:33

What Kind of Companions Do You Seek?

The warning against poor companions is often associated with the people with whom we associate. And while this is important, I believe that this warning extends to another area of life as well. Specifically, I think that it applies the companionship that we seek in books, music, and movies.

Have you ever heard the saying “what goes in, comes out”? This idea goes along with what’s expressed in Proverbs 4:23, which says, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life” (ESV). If we’re putting sinful thoughts into our minds (e.g. through the books we read, the music we listen to, or the movies we watch), those things are going to come out through out actions. How can we expect it to be otherwise?

For many of us, this can be a sobering thought. But it’s an important one to consider—even if it makes us squirm a bit. As Christians, we should constantly be examining our lives and comparing the fruit we’re bearing with the truths of Scripture. Like Christ stated, a tree will be known by it’s fruit (Matt. 7:15-20).

Content Checklist

So what should we do? How do we know what to read, listen to, and watch? Thankfully, the Lord has given us lots of guidance in the Bible regarding how we ought to live. Plus, we have the amazing gift of the Holy Spirit!

The following list can be used as a helpful guide when trying to determine whether the books, music, or films you’re seeking are good companions or not. Please note, this isn’t an exhaustive list. This is just a starting point to help you think of things from a different angle. And, as always, seek the Holy Spirit for guidance!

  • Does this book/song/film view sin from a biblical standpoint, or does it encourage/excuse/glorify sin?
  • Does this book/song/film inspire godly thoughts, or does it lead me to think in ungodly ways?
  • Does this book/song/film help me to grow in my relationship with the Lord, or does it pull me away from Him?
  • Does this book/song/film help me to think on what is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and worthy (see Phil. 4:8)? Or does it lead me to think on things that are false, dishonorable, unjust, impure, etc.?
  • Does this book/song/film help me conform to Christ, or the world (see Romans 12:2)?
  • Does this book/song/film show the cause-to-effect of sinful decisions, or does it imply that sin is okay?
  • Does this book/song/film encourage me to guard my heart, or does it try to pull my guard down (see Prov. 4:23)?

Closing Thoughts

Ladies, it’s so important to be careful about the companions we choose. They can have a huge impact on our lives! Remember: what goes in is going to come out. Don’t spend time on books, music and films that are pulling you away from Christ. Those companions aren’t worth our time! Instead, attach yourself with things that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord and will prompt you to live out your faith.

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