Careful Concerning the Company You Keep (I Corinthians 15:33)
I Corinthians 15:33, Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
A mother once shocked her daughter when she was able to tell her who she spent the most time with. She said, “I know just who you've been playing with today." She knew because she had become something like the other girl. She became so much like her in that she spoke like her, mimicked her mannerisms, and other telltale changes. Children often imitate other children quite unconsciously. So do adults. We are affected by the people we spend time with, in one way or another.
The wrong crowd has a powerful influence upon people. They can be very distracting in our quest to do God's will. Never underestimate the power of peer pressure. Be careful about the friends that you choose and spend your time with. It’s been said that we are, or will soon become, like the people we associate with, the books we read or the movies we watch. Avoid critical, carnal people as your close friends. Communications can refer to either conversation or companions. Most of the time when you’re in the wrong kind of company there will be bad conversations, which in turn, influences bad conduct. Bad company hurts a person’s good character and name. In just 15 minutes a person’s reputation can be ruined by what a parent has worked for 15 years to build within.
Proverbs 16:29, “A violent man enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way that is not good.” Violent people mislead, or deceive, others to a life of lawlessness. A violent man’s aim is to lead his neighbor away from the ways of righteousness. Too often, people look up to others who are bad examples and eventually end on the same broken road. They craftily seduce the innocent to get them convinced that the evil way is acceptable. Evil people never warn them of the consequences of sin. Wicked people paint evil as good and shut the eye to any danger. Many have fallen for this tactic of evil and paid a terrible price.
Once a spider built a beautiful web in an old house. He kept it clean and shiny so that flies would visit it. The minute he got a "customer" he would wind him up in a web so the other flies would not get suspicious. Then one day this fairly intelligent fly came buzzing by the clean spider web. Old man spider called out, "Come in and sit." But the fairly intelligent fly said, "No, sir. I don't see other flies in your house, and I am not going in alone!" But presently he saw on the floor below a large crowd of flies dancing around on a piece of brown paper. He was delighted! He was not afraid if a lot of other flies were doing it. So he came in for a landing.
Just before he landed a bee zoomed by, saying, "Don't land there! That's flypaper!" But the fairly intelligent fly shouted back, "Don't be silly. Those flies are dancing. There's a big crowd there. Everybody's doing it. That many flies can't be wrong!" Well, you know what happened. He died on the spot on the fly paper. Some of us want to be with the crowd so badly that we end up in a mess. What does it profit a fly (or a person) if he escapes the web only to end up in the glue?
Ben Carson, MD, Johns Hopkins University neurosurgeon, who grew up on the streets of Detroit said, "Go down to the fish market and look into the crab barrel. They never have to put a lid on it because if one crab starts to crawl out, the others will grab onto him and pull him back down." That's what the wrong crowd does and that's what you must fight against. Don't be distracted nor fall into the trap by degenerate people.
Questions to Consider:
Is there sin in your life that you are having a hard time letting go of?
What kind of example are you setting for others?
Points to Ponder:
If you are playing with sin, then you are toying with the devil.
Choose your friends wisely because they will shape the future of your life.
Prayer: Father, Your Son is the example by which we are to live. Help me to live in a way that pleases You and will draw others to Your Son. I pray that they will receive Him and have a desire to walk with You. In Jesus name, Amen.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.