The Company You Keep

An old fellow I knew growing up was fond of saying “if you sleep with dogs you gonna wake up with fleas.” According to Wikipedia, this phrase has been attributed to Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanac. But if you go back even further, you find this truth written in a different way by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15.

In first century in Corinth, false teachers had infiltrated the young church and were introducing teachings that led many away from the truth of the Gospel and even threatened the very foundation of the church. In response, the Apostle Paul wrote to these young believers, “Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” (1 Corinthians 15:33 ESV)

The truth taught to us by Paul, Benjamin Franklin and an old friend is this, “you will become like those with whom you closely associate and listen to.” If you surround yourself with negative, immoral and corrupt individuals, then this is what you will become. But, the opposite is true as well, if you surround yourself with positive, morally upright and truth loving people, then, most likely you will eventually become like them.

So, as you consider this truth, I challenge you to do two things: first, surround yourself with those who build you up, challenge you in a good way, speak truth to you and make you a better person; secondly, strive to be a person who builds others up, speaks the truth and challenges them to be better as well.