Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” Come back to your senses as you ought and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God. I say this to your shame. – 1 Corinthians 15:33-34
I have noticed the people that I spend time with affect my behavior. There are some people who draw me into a more consecrated life, and there are others who tend to stir worldliness in me. It is important to manage who we allow to have an influence in our lives. Good company inspires us to goodness; bad company inspires us to less than noble purposes.
There are two words translated “good character” in this passage. The first is chrestos and means being gracious or kind. The second is ethos and means the way we act as in habits or mannerisms.
What Paul seems to be saying is that the company we keep will affect our character. We develop character traits, like kindness and being gracious, by practicing them and continually exposing ourselves to those who will practice them. When we choose to spend time with “bad company” we run the risk of developing character traits that are undesirable.
This month we have looked at kindness from a variety of perspectives. We looked at kindness as a fruit of the Spirit, we looked at the kindness of God, we looked at kindness as being driven by compassion, and we looked at those to whom we are instructed to be kind. In all of this the goal has been to make kindness to others a primary focus in our life.
I would encourage you to spend time with the Lord asking him to show you ways of being kind to others. We considered the kindness of God and I hope we have concluded that his kindness is what motivates him to continually draw us to himself. That is why we need to spend time with him in prayer and meditating upon his word. Good company inspires us to goodness and God’s company is just about as good as it gets.
Prayer: Lord, I want to be kind, but sometimes my self-centeredness gets in the way. Grant me the grace of your kindness being put into my character. Amen.
Principle: Good company inspires us to goodness; bad company inspires us to less than noble purposes.
Affirmation: I choose to have fellowship with those who inspire me to goodness and have only casual contact with those who would influence me to less noble purposes.
Reflection: How have these 31 days of exploring ways to express kindness affected you? Reflect on how being in close relationship with God draws you to kindness, then practice being close to God.
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