Overcome Day 4: The Company You Keep
Read: Proverbs 13:20-25, Proverbs 22:24-25, and 1 Corinthians 15:33
I heard this story once of a man who accidentally locked himself inside of a freezer. At first he tried banging on the freezer door and crying for help in order to get someone’s attention so that they could rescue him from being trapped inside the freezer. But after a while, when no one responded, he began to lose hope and eventually froze to death. The interesting part to the story is, when they eventually found the man trapped in the freezer, they noticed that he froze to death even though the freezer was broken and that the temperature inside of the freezer was 72 degrees. So what happened? How did this man freeze to death even though the temperature was well above freezing?
Solomon, arguably the wisest man to ever live, instructs us in Proverbs numerous times to pay very close attention to the company that we keep. He tells us that, if we are not careful, we will eventually become like the people who we associate ourselves with. Just like the man trapped in the freezer, even though the freezer was broken, convinced himself to freeze to death because of the environment he was in, we too can find ourselves trapped in the same situation. Even though the environment wasn’t functioning the way it was supposed to, the man still became like the environment he was surrounded by.
Paul, over 1,000 years later, reiterates what Solomon wrote in Proverbs when he writes in his first letter to the church in Corinth “Bad company corrupts good character.” The church in Corinth was surrounded by people who practiced all sorts of immorality. So Paul knew that they needed to be told about the effects of the environment that they surround themselves with. He wanted to make sure to warn them to be careful of the people who they associated with.
I heard a pastor once say “Show me your five closest friends and I’ll show you where you’ll be in ten years.” In other words, the people you associate with in your present adversely affect and predict your future.
Therefore, if bad company corrupts good character, then the opposite must be true as well, good company affects bad character. In other words, the company you keep can either hurt your or help you. The people you associate with can either tear you down or lift you up. The environment that you live in can either punish you or prosper you. Your friends can either burden you or benefit you. The choice is yours.
What environment do you find yourself in? Who is the company you associate with? Who are your five closest friends? Is your character being corrupted or commended?
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