Bible reference: Romans 16:17 - "Now I beseech you brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned, and avoid them"
The scripture above admonishes us to avoid those who cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine of Christ. Mark and avoid those who live contrary to the truth of the gospel, the truth that you’ve been taught. This is God’s instruction, the same he gave through Paul in Philippians 3:2.( “Beware of dogs , beware of evil doers beware of the concision)
This admonition is primarily for us to stay away from those in the church who don’t follow the truth, who cause dissension and strife. When the Apostle Paul said beware of dogs and evil doers, he was referring to mischief makers in the Church.
These could be people in the same local church, same cell group, same estate, neighbourhood, office, e.t.c and they are christians. He wouldn’t warn you about them if he didn’t think your association with them would be inimical to your Christian work. You are to mark and avoid mischief workers not try to change them. Don’t keep company with people who delibrately don’t walk in love, people who engender disunity in the Church; divisive elements who mislead others.
People get messed up when they get involved with a messed up person. 1 Corinthians 15:33 says “Be not decieved,evil communications corrupt good manners”. If you have had or have friends with whom you’re not experiencing any meaningful spiritual progress, or whose friendship hinders your effectiveness in the gospel, it’s high time you gave up such friendships. Don’t negotiate/ just end it, so your participation in the faith- your christian life would be effectual as it should be.