Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. —1 Corinthians 15:33
Relationships can help you or hurt you. Your relationships play an important role in who you are and who you become. Someone said, “You are who you run with.” Therefore we must be careful about who we hang out with.
The following story from Craig Groeschel‘s book Chazown illustrates the truth of our text perfectly:
Jessica and Jenny were inseparable twins, dressing alike and sharing their parents’ faith in Christ. Both were morally strong. Their futures were bright with possibilities.
Here is the story of the summer things changed. Jessica followed family tradition. As in years past, she attended a Christian camp. This year she made friends with some missions-minded girls. They didn’t talk a lot about boys or music or movies. They talked about impacting the world. Feeding the poor. Reaching the lost.
In her church, Jessica was known as a strong Christian. But her new friends seemed to have a turbocharged faith. When these young girls prayed, they really prayed. During free time, they often read their Bibles. They talked of God as if He was a close friend, loving and directing them moment by moment. Jessica was caught by their passion.
Late in the summer, Jessica agreed to travel with her new friends to Honduras, to build homes for the poor and tell people about Jesus.
That experience changed Jessica’s life forever.
After two years of college, she took a year off to minister in Honduras. There she met Rob. They later got married, and now they serve in China as full-time missionaries. Jessica glows with the love of Christ.
That same summer was also a fateful one for Jenny.
Instead of attending Christian camp, Jenny talked her mom, Monica, into letting her stay with a family at their beach house along with several other girls from school. Monica hesitated, because she didn’t know the family well. But she gave in. For the rest of her life, Monica would regret this decision.
At first, Jenny was taken aback by this family’s behavior. The parents gave the teenage girls beer. Lots of beer.
For a week, Jenny watched, not participating with the wild crowd. They seemed to be having so much fun. After several nights of pressure from her friends, Jenny drank her first beer. The next night, she got drunk. The night after that, she smoked pot.
That was only the beginning. Jenny met an older guy by the water. On the last night of the trip, drunk and high, Jenny gave away her virginity.
Having discovered new friends who were more “fun” than the church crowd, Jenny was different when she returned home. More sophisticated. More grown-up. And more prone to trouble.
Today, Jenny is an alcoholic on her third marriage, raising children from her first two husbands and a third man she met in a bar. Tonight she will sleep in a women’s shelter.
And her mom will cry herself to sleep.
Two sisters… Two sets of friends.. Two drastically divergent destinations.
Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.