I was going to post the second part of How I Became A Christian, but this verse was heavy on my heart this morning and I felt led to study it out and then share. Considering that the reason that I started this blog is because I felt led to, I’m going to go with this, and I’ll post the continuation of my testimony in the future.
Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
When Paul wrote the letter of 1 Corinthians, in this chapter and verse, he quotes the 3rd century B.C. Greek poet Menander to show that our lives are influenced by what we believe and whom we associate.
Studying the words ‘Bad company corrupts good character’ in both English and Greek reveals some interesting insight.
Misled is defined:
– to cause (someone) to have a wrong idea or impression about someone or something
– to cause to stray, to lead astray, lead aside from the right way
– to go astray, wander, roam about; to lead away from the truth, to lead into error, to deceive
– to be led into error; to be led aside from the path of virtue, to go astray, sin
– to sever or fall away from the truth
– to be led away into error and sin
Not being aware that bad company corrupts good morals and character can give us the wrong idea or impression. Our misunderstandings can lead us away, this is why we ought to study God’s word. This is why we ought to study apologetics, so that we can know how to give a defense of what we believe.
To be bad is to not be as you ought to be. There is a difference between is and ought, between the way we are and the way we ought to be.
Company is the people we choose to spend time with because they are a friend. It’s the people that we have communion with, which is the sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially when the exchange is on a mental or spiritual level.
None of this is about our associations, otherwise, how will we reach people? But it is about those who we allow to speak into our lives, those who we share and exchange our intimate thoughts and feelings, those who we are in covenant with, those who we give the right to call us out when we are getting off track.
To corrupt is to lead away from that state of knowledge and holiness in which it ought to abide. Another word one could use here is to backslide. To corrupt is also to pollute. Think of the environment pollution. This is what bad company does to your character and morals.
To be good is to be morally right and righteous, to be virtuous, which is have or show high moral standards.
Character is honesty, integrity, morals. Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is looking.
Your associations influence your conduct, whether it’s evil associations towards evil conduct or good associations towards good conduct. Bad company can even corrupt good doctrine. We have to guard our hearts. Don’t let your relationships cause your faith to waver or to cause you to backslide.
If you want to get better, then choose to hang out with people better than you. Let your friends be those who you want to be more like, spiritually and morally.
And here’s a challenge: reach out to those who are your good influence, let them know that they are your good influence. Bonus points if you can reach out to 5 or more people. And reach out to one person whom you want to be more like.