The Influence of Others
"Do not be deceived brethren, bad company corrupts good morals"
I Corinthians 15:33
When my children were approaching their teen years, one of my most repeated speeches would contain this verse! My girls had many friends from school, church, the neighborhood, and other social groups they belonged to and with that came a plethora of personalities and beliefs. It was always noticeable when they got a new friend because they would inevitably sprout new habits and mannerisms. As the new traits emerged in their lives, they didn’t even recognize it but to others it was usually obvious. Whether they realized or not, they were changing, they were being influenced, molded, reshaped by the company they were keeping; and it wasn’t always for the best! It’s the God given principle that the Apostle Paul lays out for us in 1st Corinthians chapter 15 verse 33; the company we keep will influence us and the longer we are in the company of another, the greater influence they will have upon our lives.
It’s important to note that Paul doesn’t say that bad company "might" corrupt our good morals, he says it will. There are no exceptions to this rule beloved; no one that is immune, even people with good morals will be affected in a negative way. We often have the best intentions when reaching out to befriend others but one truth we must wrap our hearts around is this; bad company will breed corruption in our lives. Security in our "good morals" will lend us to great disappointments because self righteousness is not our protector. Self righteousness blinds us to the influence of others because it walks in self sufficiency. We start believing the lie that; "our presence in the lives of another can change them" when in reality, we can never change another person no matter how "righteous" we may be.
Paul gives a stern warning to the Church of Corinth; "DON’T BE DECEIVED". Deception will lead us to believe that others will not affect our lives but they will. God doesn’t want us to be ignorant children believing we are impervious to bad influence. It’s a common phrase; "children are so impressionable" but we are all designed by God to be impressionable at any age. We never grow out of it! This God given pliability is an amazing responsibility that He has given to us and an awesome opportunity as well. If the principle holds true with bad company, it holds true to good company as well! Choose Godly friends, Godly environments to ensure Godly influence in your own life. The more we are in the presence of God, Godly surroundings, God fearing company then the more we will be molded, shaped and fashioned into what He desires for us to be.
Surround Me With You God that I may become like thee
Pearls of Grace Devotional Book
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Originally published Wednesday, 05 October 2022.