Did I hear you echo “…good manners”? Definitely, bad company corrupts good manners. I just finished discussing with someone over the phone about a heart-aching situation. At the end of this mind-blowing discussion, this old English proverb came flooding into my mind and kept re-echoing deep down in my spirit. My heart was so heavy that I had to check it up online if it was an English proverb or a biblical proverb. Here! It’s actually both secularly and biblically correct. I guess that makes it also politically correct. (1 Corinthians 15:33) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners [New Scofield: Evil company corrupts good morals; RSV: Bad company ruins good morals]. Another English proverb says it in another form “Better be alone than in bad company”. So whichever way you look at it, we all need to choose a friend, mentor, partner, buddy, amigos, allies, chum, mate, pal, acquaintance –or whatever word you decide to use- with great care. I haven’t got a formula for that, but you know from within you when you are being led into morally unacceptable principles that struggle with the truth within you. Since when is fornication or adultery an acceptable way of life? Hmm… run for your dear life, from unfriendly friends and from the snares of the devil because you need not be ignorant of the devices of the enemy to get you entangled in his web. Others might do things unpleasant to the ears and escape but I assure you that when you try it, it back-fires. We are all unique beings. Bad company is likened to a little leaven that leavens the whole lump (Galatians 5:7-9) and like a word that eats as a canker (2 Timothy 2:16-18). It is that strong force that encourages a youth to carry knife around and commit crime undermining the consequences. It is what makes a child bully another helpless child just for the fun of it.
“Sup with the devil with a long spoon means if you keep bad company you will need to be on your guard. Sharing a meal with someone usually means you are already on quite good terms with them or that you want to get to know them better. If you agree to partake of the devil’s hospitality, you are on dangerous ground and need to beware. The reference to a long spoon is obscure; probably it emphasizes the distance it is necessary to keep from the potent contamination of the devil. The proverb was current in the fourteenth century. From the “Dictionary of Proverbs and their Origins” by Linda and Roger Flavell (Barnes & Noble Books, New York, 1993).
Are you entangled in this mess already, are you contemplating compromising that moral standard you have kept for years or you have a close friend in the web of a bad company, please take that bold step without giving it a second thought. Seek counsel from the Holy Spirit on how to break the bond amicably. Remember that it was a company of strange women that led Solomon- the wisest man that ever lived- into a shadow of himself ( 1 Kings 11:1-4, Nehemiah 13:23-27) when he disobeyed God’s instruction in Deuteronomy 7:1-4. The ball is in your court so play it well. Proverbs 13:20-He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed. You must not take it lightly at all. Deuteronomy 7:1-4 tells you how to deal with it. Don’t have mercy on bad pals. You can’t afford to trade your relationship with your Saviour for a temporary bowl of pottage. Don’t get me wrong. You cannot be a hermit or an island. The only business you have with bad company is witnessing through your lifestyle and not being deceived into joining the band wagon heading for a damned destination. Also, this has nothing to do with marriage because this is a ‘for better for worse affair’. That is why you needed to have prayed and be convinced before getting into a marriage relationship. Beloved, don’t be companions of those who say “if you can’t beat them join them”. If you join them you will be doomed..oops! Have you been a victim of bad company, you have an opportunity to come before the throne of mercy to ask for forgiveness. His alms are always open wide to receive you. Help someone today with prayers and godly counsels.
In summary, Leviticus 25:18, Wherefore ye shall do my statutes, and keep my judgements, and do them; and ye shall dwell in the land in safety. Why try having dinner with the devil in the first place?
Prayer 1: I receive grace and wisdom to recognise unfriendly friends in Jesus’ name.
Prayer 2: Lord, connect me to friends who will link me up to my destiny in Jesus’ name