Psalm 59:2 NASB - "Deliver me from those who do iniquity . . .”
Christianity is not a call to a monastic life of strict separation from this world. We have an obligation to interact with the people of this world. The Great Commission commands us to make disciples of the nations. This demands living among and interacting with them so that we can bring the Gospel to them. It demands that we make friends of lost people, but always with great caution. There is always the danger of being enticed by their ways. The Psalmist pleads for God to deliver him from workers of iniquity. Psalm 1 declares: “How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers.”
We must be cautious about the company we keep and how we interact with them. We must maintain the balance between Gospel engagement and Gospel holiness. We must always remain distinct, apart, and other than. We must never compromise the principles of righteousness. This is where we face the greatest danger. Standing apart can be most difficult, especially around those closest to us—lost family members, coworkers, and the many with whom we interact with on a daily basis. They do not have regard for the Law of God, and they will not understand our commitment to Christ. The tension is for us to take the path of least resistance, to make small concessions for the sake of peace and harmony. These small concessions quickly become full-blown sin.
Sometimes, we face people in this world with whom fellowship is impossible. We must maintain strict separation to protect ourselves from becoming infected by them. Paul’s word to us is, “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness. Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate, says the LORD. And do not touch what is unclean.” On one hand we must follow the lead of our Savior who was referred to as a friend of sinners. On the other hand, we must avoid friendships that will lead us into sin. It demands from us great discernment.