the wrong crowd

on the subway today, I was reading about the rules that many of us have grown up with as to what it means to be a Christian. one of them is to not hang out with the “wrong crowd” or as we used to joke, “I don’t smoke, don’t chew or hang out with those who do.” I am aware of my need to be around Christians, to be held in my faith journey by the prayers, wisdom and presence of other sojourners on the way. I need people to encourage me when I’m discouraged, cheer me on when the going gets tough, challenge me when I need to grow. Sometimes I need to be surrounded by Christians  just simply know that I am not alone.

also, I do know that youth is a time when you are quite impressionable combined with wanting to be accepted in a social sphere. it’s probably wise to be careful who influences you – not just in your youth.

But as I was on the subway, I found myself wondering – what does it mean to be with the “wrong crowd”?

who would count as the wrong crowd? obviously those sinners (not me, of course!)

who did Jesus hang out with? prostitutes and tax collectors. heathens and the unclean. lepers and the demon possessed.

is it possible that as a follower of Christ I hang out with “the wrong crowd” if I merely hang out with people who are like me, believe as I do, etc?

and perhaps a more humbling question: am I – a sinner – part of “the wrong crowd”?

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