Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”1 Corinthians 15:33
We overestimate our strength if we think that hanging out with nefarious characters won’t affect us. That’s like hanging around a skunk and expecting not to stink. I tend to believe we become the average of those with whom we are surrounded. Paul teaches the Corinthians to protect their character by being selective, because we’re shaped by our buddies.
It’s not just a matter of avoiding bad characters, of course, but of having friends who make us better. All of us need good examples in our own lives. We need friends who will encourage us to pick up our game when we’re lagging, to set higher standards when we’re being too easy on ourselves, to sometimes take us to bible study when we’d rather lounge on the sofa, and to tell us when we’re wrong.
Often, you can tell a lot about a person by their friends. It’s important to have friends that make you better and don’t try to lead you astray. It’s like we tell our kids, “Show me your friends, I’ll show you your future.”
Sweet Freedom in ActionToday, take inventory of your friends, pray for those who might not be walking the right path, and vow to spend more time with those who help you become a better person.