Bad Company Corrupts Good Character

D4A2F567-D987-46D9-946C-CD347008A8A3The Tye River Overlook, in Virginia’s James River State Park, is a wonderful place to visit. A relatively easy and wide gravel path through the woods leads you to this beautiful view of the mountains, pastureland, train trestle, and convergence of the Tye River and the James River. This particular sight is unusual, because most rivers converge in a “Y” formation, whereas these two converge in a “T” pattern.

We visited in April of 2018, following a heavy, flooding rain. What set this view apart at this particular time is that the James River had been affected by the flooding rains and their pollution, and it bore the scars of that. The Tye River had not been affected by the heavy run off and debris, and it remained clear and pure until it joined the James River. This is the perfect word picture depicting how easy it is for purity to be defiled by evil.

“‘Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.'” 1 Corinthians 15:33.

In this verse, the Apostle Paul is actually making a point by quoting a comic poet of that day. Most of his audience were probably familiar with this saying, and he used it to drive home a spiritual principle. Those we associate with affect our behavior.

In this case, the church was being affected by false teachers and those who did not believe in the resurrection. Therefore, they lived any way they pleased. Paul was teaching these young Christians to beware and not fall into that philosophy.

When we spend time with those who do not honor the Lord, we are at risk for becoming apathetic, at best and ruined, at worst. It may not start out that way. At first, we may think we have a handle on things and will not allow our life to be muddied by ungodliness. But before you know it, we’ve slidden down the slippery slope and are up to our necks in a mess. And the purity of life and clarity of purpose have been washed downstream.

Thankfully, because of God’s mercy and grace, it’s not too late to repent, return, and get back on track. But it’s just so much easier and it saves us so much heartache to remember this wise counsel before we ever get carried away.

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