The Company You Keep

Last Friday night I was driving back from my parent’s house in Indiana. Normally I take all interstate highways to get home, but this time, I decided to take a different route. This move enabled me to stay out of the rush hour traffic and avoid the thousands of semis on the road. My choice to take back roads also made for some interesting radio listening. As I scanned through the stations that evening I heard farm reports, lots of local football, several country stations and one channel that was all Hispanic music (which is interesting for small town Missouri radio).

One station I landed on had a song playing that I knew. I listened through the end of the song and then the announcer came on to speak. Instead of a local personality, the show was syndicated and the person talking was John Tesh. He said something like, “Studies show one more secret to weight loss when we return.”

To be honest, I could drop a couple of pounds so I stayed on through the commercials. Finally, Mr. Tesh returned and he told about a study conducted somewhere by some university on the topic of weight loss. He said this study discovered that people who have fit and skinny friends are more likely to lose weight. The people who have fuller figured friends are less likely to lose weight. The reason this happens, according to this study, is because thin people reinforce a lifestyle of less indulgence. Heavier friends have the opposite effect. When they gather to have fun they bring food and drinks. The big conclusion to his story was that we need to pay attention to the people in our lives because they also influence our weight.

No more had the words come from his mouth and I could see the application for Christians.

Your life of faith is molded by the people you spend time with each day too. Spend time with people who are dedicated to the Lord and make Godly decisions and you become like them. Spend time with half-hearted people who bend their morals to every situation and you become like them. Spend all your time with nonbelievers and you soon act like a nonbeliever.

Almost 2,000 years ago the apostle Paul wrote to the Church in the city of Corinth. He told them in 1 Corinthians 15:33 “Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” (NIV)

One way to assess your growth as a Christian is to look at the people you spend your time with. How do you view them? Are the deep, spiritual people? Are they wishy-washy about their faith? Would you never guess they are believers at all?

Maybe that is the type of person you are today. Maybe it is not at the moment. You may not be like them now, but given enough time, you will be.

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