Would we invite someone who passionately hated us to live in our home, wreck everything we’d worked so hard to build, and constantly cause us misery? Most of us would say “NO!” However, sometimes we do–because we are deceived or–we’ve allowed ourselves to get comfortable in mediocrity. We cannot be afraid to clean house. God has not called us to live in misery and if we have the power to address the situation, we certainly should, because how can we glorify God if the place we live (or work) is filled with the spirit of evil, backbiting, lying, corruption, envy, hate and all sorts of ungodly thoughts and actions? Remember the old adage that “one rotten apple spoils the whole bushel?” Well, what we do with that rotten apple will determine whether the rest of the bushel rots! In 1 Corinthians 5, the apostle Paul teaches us to “purge the evil person from among you.” (1 Cor. 5:13b) This doesn’t mean we shut out the lost, because they are our mission field; however, they should not be our closest associates. (2 Cor. 6) Paul is teaching us to closely examine the people who are in our inner circle and evaluate whether there are ones working with the enemy to bring dishonor to God. Sin never glorifies God. If the people closest to us are lying (even “white lies” if there’s such a thing), cheating, constantly complaining, lazy or involved in any evil then why would we keep them in our inner circle and allow them to wreak havoc or destroy what we’re doing for God’s glory? We must correct the situation before it turns into something which rots our heart and destroys our “home.” If a person close to us isn’t willing to acknowledge and rid themselves of the destructive behavior, then they have made their own decision. Although it’s sometimes heartbreaking, we’ll know that they cannot remain in our inner circle because they’re working against us. The best friends are those who make us better, not bitter. If we want to strive for excellence, then we understand the love of a friend who tells us the truth rather than what we want to hear. “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” (Prov. 27:17) Truth forges steel bonds of friendship which cannot be broken by evil!