2nd October 2023
'Meg Bucher asks'
"How Does Bad Company Corrupt Good Character?"
The bible challenges us to consider the company we keep, and their influence on our character.
"Do not be misled: 'Bad company corrupts good character."
1 Corinthians 15:33
Human nature is to reflect the behaviour of those we spend the most time with.
This doesn't mean to keep company with like-minded people, alone.
Jesus, Himself, was often found amidst bad company.
His mission to reach those who were lost carries on in us through His command to go and share the gospel with all people.
The context of Paul's imperative is rooted in his reminder of the gospel truth to the Corinthian people.
The passage in its entirety defends the truth of the resurrection, the pillar of the Christian faith.
"It is not the resurrection of Jesus that was being denied, but the resurrection of the Christian's body over against the pagan doctrine of the immorality of the soul".
What we believe about who Jesus is and where He is now determines the validity of our faith as Christ-followers.
We believe in the resurrection, and we know our life on earth is not the final stop.
This truth affects the way we live our daily lives.
We can claim to follow Jesus yet our lives may fail to reflect it.
Christian holiness is not the avoidance of darkness at all costs, David Mathis explains,
"It includes going into the darkness, letting our Light shine without compromise, and bringing people back from the darkness by the power of God."
Our job is to be vessels of the gospel so their ears may hear the truth about how much God loves them.
"The contextual application of the quotation is that those who are teaching that there is no resurrection are the 'bad company' and that they are corrupting the 'good character' of those who hold to the correct doctrine."
In our daily lives, we are wise to be on the lookout for people and situations which could destroy our character.
We are called to be in the world because the world needs the gospel, but we are warned not to be of the world.
Walking that line requires a daily discipline to abide in Jesus through prayer and reading the Bible by which we put on the full armour of God.
We can hold onto our good character by clinging to the One whom we attribute goodness to in the first place.
On our own, we are capable of no good thing.
We all fall short of the glory of God, Paul wrote.
God is faithful.
He places people in our lives both to disciple and those who disciple us.
Rick Warren explains, "But your best friends should be Christians.
They should be strong believers." When we are filled with the Holy Spirit of the Living God, we cheer each other on, and it rejuvenates us as we walk back out into the world to seek and save the lost for Christ.
The world will wear us down, and we do need our best friends to be brothers and sisters in Jesus who rally us back to a 'full tank' when we're empty.
Local church communities are extremely important for this among many other reasons. We were not meant to be alone.
Pastor John Piper challenges,
"are we loving these people for their sake - that is, that they would come to faith and they would become godly -
or do we really love them because we love what they enjoy and really like being with them in their worldliness?"
Let us be the messengers with beautiful feet, Father!
May our lives sing of who You are, and show others the love of Jesus.
Let the Spirit move in and through us according to Your will, strengthening us where we are weak and helping us discern what our next steps are.
Bless our lives to bring glory to You, before we even lift a hand in the air to sing Your praise.
Paul wrote to remind us of the resurrection.
Jesus rose from the dead and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
Our earthly life is temporary, but our life with Him in heaven is eternal.
Our lives on earth are meant to bring glory to God,
so we should be wary of the company we keep and remain focused on the mission.
Un-edited version avaiable, on request
writes about everyday life within the love of Christ.
She earned a Marketing/PR degree from Ashland University but stepped out of the business world to stay home and raise her two daughters ...which led her to pursue her writing passion.
A contributing writer for Salem Media since 2016, Meg is now thrilled to be a part of the editorial team as the Editor of ChristianHeadlines.com.
Always active in her community and the local church, Meg also leads Bible study and serves as a leader for teen girls.
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