Thursday, 6 July 2017

Avoid bad company!

Proverbs 1:10-19
My son, if sinful men entice you,
do not give in to them.
If they say, “Come along with us;
let’s lie in wait for innocent blood,
let’s ambush some harmless soul;
let’s swallow them alive, like the grave,
and whole, like those who go down to the pit;
we will get all sorts of valuable things
and fill our houses with plunder;
cast lots with us;
we will all share the loot”—
my son, do not go along with them,
do not set foot on their paths;
for their feet rush into evil,
they are swift to shed blood.
How useless to spread a net
where every bird can see it!
These men lie in wait for their own blood;
they ambush only themselves!
Such are the paths of all who go after ill-gotten gain;
it takes away the life of those who get it.


One of the most important aspects of wisdom is to recognize right from wrong and to avoid bad company. Children and young people can blindly follow someone who can lead them on the wrong path if they are not taught how to recognise such people and the dangers of associating with them.

The wicked love company and seek ways to add to their numbers. They are always looking for gullible people to influence. Children need to be warned not to be enticed by their promises of personal gain into hurting or harming unsuspecting, innocent people. It may start with a childhood bully in school or in the neighbourhood trying to get a band of people together to join him. They may waylay a lone child in a corridor, beat him up and take away his lunch. Every successful attempt to take advantage of some innocent victim emboldens them to continue in their wicked ways and seek new exploits. They move on to stealing, cheating, bribing and worse as time goes on.

Children and youngsters need to be warned about the dangers of associating with the wrong kind of company. Some are tempted by the power such people enjoy, others by material gain, others by the desire to be popular or to be feared. Wise parents will warn their children at the very first sign of trouble: “What these people do may not at first seem very serious to you, but this kind of attitude and behaviour tends to escalate into more and more wicked and dangerous practices, until such people will stop at nothing, not even murder, to protect themselves and their interests. Stay away from such people, or you will get caught in a way of life far worse than you thought.

"Be alert and watchful and you will clearly see what these people are trying to do and how the gullible get caught in their net. Learn your lesson by observing, and avoid getting trapped! Those who plan evil against others bring down evil upon themselves. Child, don’t go down the path of ill-gotten gain, because it is a path to spiritual destruction!”

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