“My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. If they say, “Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood; let us ambush the innocent without reason; like Sheol let us swallow them alive, and whole, like those who go down to the pit; we shall find all precious goods, we shall fill our houses with plunder; throw in your lot among us; we will all have one purse”— my son, do not walk in the way with them; hold back your foot from their paths, for their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed blood. For in vain is a net spread in the sight of any bird, but these men lie in wait for their own blood; they set an ambush for their own lives. Such are the ways of everyone who is greedy for unjust gain; it takes away the life of its possessors.” Proverbs 1:10-19
It has been said that the only difference in who you are five years from now will be the result of the books you read and the people with whom you associate. Generally speaking this is true. You will resemble most those people with whom you spend the most time. Some people might claim it’s a case of chicken and the egg, you hang out with people like you, but you are ultimately influenced by your peers in some form or fashion.
Evil people who steal, kill or swindle will suffer the consequences of their actions. Whether we want to take responsibility or not, there are consequences for every decision, every action. This passage contains a warning to avoid associating with the wrong people. If you want to avoid calamity, prison or an early death, do not hang out with bad people.
Of course, the opposite must also be true – a joyful life can be attained by associating with people seeking to live wisely. The best place to do this within a group of Christ-followers, AKA the church. The church is not a building or a social gathering (though it is social in nature), it is the people, those who obediently follow Christ. Please understand, I do not believe the church is full of perfect people. In fact, I am certain there are no perfect people. Only through Christ are we made perfect.
When we associate with other Christ-followers, we hold each other accountable. Heading towards a common goal of becoming progressively Christ-like in our thoughts and actions, Christ-followers encourage one another to strive for the greater morality. We exhort one another to love exceedingly more and more each day.
So, in light of the passage above, in order to live a fruitful, wisdom filled life, one should strive to avoid the wrong type of people.