Ingredients Matter: What Will One Good Apple Become?
If one apple can spoil the bunch, then imagine what happens with one good apple that rubs skin in close contact with a bushel of bad apples. The bad apples don’t get better. The good apple goes bad. When you bake an apple pie, the pie isn’t improved by one good apple if most of the apples are bad. You need good ingredients to have something that is enjoyable.
There is a good reason why my mother and father did not want me to run with the rough, foolish, undisciplined crowd. They knew I was likely to go down to match the crowd. Even during my time in the Navy, I saw some guys that seemed to know how to get into trouble. Most of the time they found trouble with other troublemakers. Alcoholics spent time with alcoholics. Drug users spent time with other pot smokers. The list is endless, and because this is a family friendly blog, I will stop with those examples.
Solomon had observed this in his own family. Most of his brothers, King David’s sons, were not the cream of the crop. When Isaiah wrote his prophecy, he noted that corruption was a spreading canker. “Your princes are rebels and companions of thieves. Everyone loves a bribe and runs after gifts. They do not bring justice to the fatherless, and the widow’s cause does not come to them.” Isaiah 1:23
Make a Choice
Throughout my life the type of friends I have had did not drag me down. They did not seek my destruction. They were wise, and their wives were wise. Even now I count some of those who are still in this evil world as friends, knowing they have only good in mind. I’m not suggesting any of my friends are or were perfect, but I knew walking with them, spending time with them, was helping me become more like the man I should be.
There may be varying degrees of types of friends, but often there are really only two types of friends. One type helps us and the other will cause us harm. Solomon tells us there are those we can walk with who are wise, and there are those we can walk with who are fools. Solomon never says, “Hang with the fools and enjoy some time with the tough crowd.” He says you should leave the presence of a fool and avoid people who will teach you their corrupt thinking and behaviors.
“Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” Proverbs 13:20
“Leave the presence of a fool, for there you do not meet words of knowledge.” Proverbs 14:7
“Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare.” Proverbs 22:24-25
How to Identify a Follower of Jesus
They use their freedom in Christ to love others. “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.” Galatians 5:13-15
Five Minute Friday
This post is part of the weekly Five-Minute Friday link-up.
All scripture passages are from the English Standard Version except as otherwise noted.