Excellent counsel from Jay Adams:
Here is a word of wisdom for you:
Stay away from a foolish man; you will gain no knowledge from his speech. Proverbs 14:7 (CSB)
One of the issues you should consider in choosing friends is what sort of truth you will gain from the choice. It may seem wise to befriend a foolish person for various other reasons (his wealth, his notoriety, etc., etc.) but here is one of the most important criteria to consider in making the choice: what will be his influence upon you?
His speech, the proverb infers, will influence you—but if he is a fool (by God’s standards) what you learn from him will not be “knowledge.” That is to say, knowledge of what it is important, good and uplifting. He will not be a source that you can trust to enhance your love and knowledge of God!
Check out your friends, and evaluate them according to this biblical injunction. How do they fare? What are you learning from your associations with them?
“I’m not being influenced wrongly by them,” you say. Wrong!
All associations are influential: You either influence another or are influenced by him. If you are unaware of his influence—either positive or negative—it is probably of the latter sort. Do some checking: has your friend led you closer to God’s holiness or away from it? Are you more enlightened about His will because of his friendship—or not? It may be one of the most important questions you have to consider. Failure to do so almost surely will end up badly.
“Do not be deceived: Bad company corrupts good morals” (1 Corinthians 15:33)
“If you’re around an evil, negative influence long enough, you’ll go from objection to tolerance, from tolerance to acceptance, and from acceptance to participation.”
Ah, but Christ himself says in Matthew 5:22 “But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.
Also in Matthew 18:15 “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.
Instead of being concerned about our self being lead astray, the question may be, “can we lead a friend closer to Christ?”