As a young boy, I had a foul mouth. I hung out with other kids my age who were equally loose with profanity. Of course, I only swore when I was around my friends but this bad habit began to creep into my everyday speech. One day, I was speaking to my mother about another boy who was very crude in his behavior. After a few minutes of discussion, I let my guard down.
“Yeah Mom..he’s such a fu….nny guy!”
My mother was wise to what just happened. Narrowing her stare, she said, “I know you are hanging out with lots of boys who swear a lot. I hope you’re not doing that!”
I shifted my glance and lied, “No Mom. That’s the other guys, you know them! That’s not me.”
She nodded. “Yes…..” I didn’t think she believed me. “Well, maybe, hanging around with them is rubbing off on you. Maybe you’re not saying it but if you are around them all the time, it makes it easier to talk like them.”
“Umm, you’re right Mom!” She knew. “Yeah, I have to be more careful. Don’t want to be like them!”
Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”
1 Corinthians 15:33 (ESV)
I lied to my mother. I was the bad company and the instigator and perpetrator of much of the foul language. My friends were probably being more corrupted by my behavior than the reverse. The Apostle Paul wrote this verse to admonish the Corinthian believers, to remind them to remain steadfast and holy with their faith in Jesus Christ. But He could have had me in His mind as I ruined the the morals of my childhood friends with my foul language.
How many times in my life have I read the Bible and thought, “Oh thank God, that’s not me!” And yet, when I am honest with myself, I realize that I am often at the center of the worst sins the Bible displays. Yes, it is true that bad company ruins good morals. I just need to be aware that I may be the source of the bad company that others need to avoid.
There are many painful lessons that God has taught me. I thank God that by His grace and mercy through believing in His Son, Jesus Christ, as my Lord and Savior, He is changing my heart and bringing me into a greater sensitivity of what it means to be a child of God.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.