Sunday, November 14, 2010

Bad Company

"Bad company corrupts good character." 1 Corinthians 15:33

I remind my children of this truth from God's Word often and encourage them to choose their friends wisely. Keeping company with the ungodly on a regular basis corrupts the character of the godly.

God's Word says in Galatians 6:7 that we will reap what we sow. When we sow extended amounts of time with ungodly friends in activities, conversations not led of the Lord, or in places not pleasing to God, we will eventually reap what we sow. Little by little we will lose our footing until we lose our way, give in to tempation...and sin. Repeated sin corrupts the once godly person's character. To corrupt means to tarnish, damage, defile, taint, hurt, mar, disgrace, dishonor, spoil or misuse the temple of the Holy Spirit - which is our body. We do this by subjecting the Holy Spirit to things displeasing to the Lord we view with our eyes, hear with our ears, speak with our mouths, think in our hearts, subject our bodies to, or activities we participate in, that are not God's best for our lives.

On another level, lack of knowledge about the spiritual world of warfare may cause us to unknowingly be keeping bad company with the enemy, Satan. He is deceptive and sneaky. He can corrupt good character by simply placing a negative or ungodly thought in the mind of a believer and trick them into thinking the thought is their own. If those thoughts are not taken captive and replaced with God's truths (2 Corinthians 10:5), we begin to believe his lies or nagging thoughts and act upon them. Sometimes they lead to sin which in turn, corrupts good character. Here is a classic example of the enemy's craftiness:

A husband and wife have a disagreement. Before long, Satan plants the thoughts in one of their minds, "They'll never change, my marriage is doomed, I can't keep living like this, I deserve better!" The enemy does it in such a way as to make them think these thoughts are thier own. Once they agree with the statements in their mind, their guard comes down, and it might not be long before the enemy dangles "the one" they think they deserve in front of their eyes. Because their guard is down, they might make an effort to talk to that person, linger to be around them, begin texting or talking to them via social networking, and so on...until they damage or even ruin their marriage, tarnish their once godly character, and find out the grass really wasn't greener on the other side. All because they kept company with thoughts planted by the enemy.

So how do we keep our character in tact? By keeping close company with like-minded believers who sharpen us, steer clear of things that tempt us (people, drugs, alcohol, gossip, pornography, and so on), and quicken our minds to recognize the lies and thoughts planted by the enemy, and replace them with God's truths.
Father God, help me to make good choices about the company I keep. Help me to steer clear of situations that tempt me. Help me to recognize immediately thoughts and lies from the enemy, and replace them with Your truths. Help me to stand firm in my faith, guarded with the sword of the Spirit (Your Word), and represent You well. I ask this in Jesus' name, Amen.

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