Fire in my Bones

What bad company can do

“Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.””

We don’t need to look into the bible for illustrations or examples in order for us to know that what Paul says to the Corinthian brethren in the above Scripture is true. That is because all around us are people that are illustrating the truth of it with their lives. I am talking about people whose lives were great and organised until they started moving with some individuals that got them involved in certain destructive practices that changed them from being good, kind, honest, trustworthy and loving individuals to wicked, corrupt, dishonest, violent and lazy people. So, indeed, bad company corrupts good character.

But then, bad company is capable of doing more than corrupt good character; it is equally capable of exposing good people to unnecessary dangerous situations, situations that may even claim their lives. For example, we are given in the bible the story of the friendship between King Jehoshaphat of Judah and King Ahab of Israel. Jehoshaphat, as the bible shows us, was a godly king, one who devoted himself to walking in the ways of the Lord (2Chro 17:1-6). But Ahab was an evil man. Concerning him the bible says, “There was never a man like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the LORD, urged on by Jezebel his wife. He behaved in the vilest manner by going after idols, like the Amorites the LORD drove out before Israel.” (1Kings 21:25-26NIV)

How, then, did Jehoshaphat become comfortable having this man as his ally, even to the point of becoming his in-law? Clearly, they were poles apart, as far as righteous living and godliness were concerned. Yet he made him his friend and was willing to fight his battles for him, if occasions required it.

Therefore, once when Ahab wanted to go into battle against the Arameans, he asked Jehoshaphat to join him. And even though the servant of the Lord that was consulted made it very clear that God had already ordained death for the king of Israel through that battle, Jehoshaphat still went with him. But he heard with his own ears that Ahab was being enticed by a spirit of lying to go into that battle. Yet he did nothing to stop him from going, neither did he excuse himself from the battle. Instead, in solidarity, he went with him against the counsel of the Lord. And if the Lord had not been merciful to him, he would have lost his life along with his friend’s in that battle. (Cf. 1Kings 22)

So, you see that bad company is not only capable of corrupting a godly man, making him ignore very clear instructions from God; it is also capable of making him perish along with the wicked. And only God knows how many of His children have perished along with the wicked, not because they were wicked and ungodly themselves but because they were unequally yoked with wicked and ungodly people. (Cf. 2Cor 6:14-18)

Now I am not saying that we must not at all relate to or be friendly with ungodly and wicked people that are in our world. We would need to leave the world for that to happen (1Cor 5:9-10). By the way, God wants us to walk in love with all men, whether they are good or evil. But when it is clear that our association with an individual will not allow us to do the will of God or will set us contrary to His will, we must not separate ourselves from it. Otherwise someday we may have to pay for it with our very lives.

So, continually take caution and watch the kinds of people you keep company with. And may God fill your heart with the wisdom of His Spirit to always do what is right, as far as this matter is concerned, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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By: J.O. Lawal | Date: August 26, 2020 | Series: Youth for Jesus | Number: Vol. 3, No. 15

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