Evil Companions

The story is told of two neighbors who each owned parrots. One parrot had a habit singing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs while the other was addicted to swearing.

The owner of the swearing parrot got permission for his parrot to join together with the one that sings psalms, hymns and spiritual songs in the hope that it’s bad habit would be corrected. Just the opposite happened, they both learned to swear!

This little story reminds us of the verse, “Be not deceived; bad company ruins good morals.” (1 Cor. 15:33, ESV) Some versions make the last part of this verse, “evil company corrupts good habits.” (NKJ) The Living Bible version says it more plainly, “Don’t be fooled by those who say such things. If you listen to them you will start acting like them.”

In context Paul is talking about the resurrection of the dead. Some had taught that there would not be a general resurrection of the dead. Paul is telling the Christians at Corinth to withdraw their relations with these people. Why?

If believed, the conclusion of such false teaching would leave one to have no reason to fear God’s judgment of the deeds done in the body. (Rom. 2:6; Gal. 6:7-8) A “no resurrection” belief would result in lack of restraint of any fleshly pleasure. Good morals would be corrupt. If there is no future life, there is no reason for living righteously.

Paul is saying, “What is the advantage of even trying to live righteously if the dead rise not? We might as well eat, drink and enjoy life because we will all die and that will be the end of it.” This truth still stands; Friendship with anyone who denies God’s truth on any subject still corrupts good morals.

You may feel you can connect with people who do not love truth and not be hurt. You may think that you can be a good influence on that person. Perhaps you can, but do not forget, influence can go either way. There is a greater danger that the person who does not love truth will sway you. If you think otherwise, you may already be deceived.

Young people and older people alike need to pick their friends carefully. We must all remember “Evil Company corrupts good habits.”

Don’t forget the parrot that used to sing hymns! And remember Lot’s wife too!

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