Kate is raised in a Christian family, with conservative beliefs and behaviors. She grew up in full submission to her parents and to the Lord. She’s become an active leader and Sunday school teacher in the church at her very young age. But she also got a good deal of friends in school. She plays volleyball with her classmates during Thursday afternoon and join a walk through the park on Saturday morning. House. School. Park. Church. That’s how her life went, until the time she entered college.
Because she was enrolled in a university quite far from her home, she had to stay in a dormitory and go home on weekends. She felt a great sense of freedom. She tried things which she never tried before–stuffs like going on a movie night-out with classmates, joining a house party, and the like. During the course of engaging in these activities, she somehow felt guilty of not telling her parents everything about it, but on the other end, she gives herself a tap on the shoulder telling “It’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with this. You can perhaps make good friends with them and win them to Christ.” Ah, friendship evangelism. That was what’s at the back of her mind.
So on she went with these late night activities. Movie night-outs turned to club partying sessions. House party with classmates turned to series of sleepover nights. That’s when her school grades began to drop. Also, she started missing out on…well, bible study sessions first, then followed by absences on Sunday service. When her parents would ask her what’s going on, she’d always tell them she’s just busy with school, many school papers to pass. She’d even assure them that she’s got good friends and that the following week, she’ll tag them along to church.
But weeks turned to months, months turned to a semester…but nothing yet seems to progress. She’s still on the same downward spiral trap she got herself into. And before she even realize it, her life started to shatter, piece by piece, drifting away, breaking her relationship with her family and with God.
This is a sad reality to many teenagers of today’s gruesome culture. The pressure out there is stronger than what you might think. Peer pressure that is. If you’re not really grounded on your foundations of faith (I have to say, even those who profess to be grounded fall), you are most likely to compromise and adopt the pop culture. You’ll probably be enticed to live by the YOLO mantra (You Only Live Once).
Though hard to fight it might seem, our life’s manual–The Bible–gave us a clear advice on how to stay away from the trap of bad company.
Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:33-34
I guess I cannot put it in a more elaborate explanation than on Kate’s account. If she really knows God, she’d hear His voice (whether that’s from her own conscience, which is also God-given, or from her parents), and not just ‘hear’ but ‘listen closely’. In John 10:27 Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” In Kate’s case, she seemed to follow her own desires and choose the pleasure of being with her company than being with the Lord and with her family. It is really a shameful act. A clear sign of ungratefulness-a bad moral.
Also, take note of how she first thought of sharing Christ with these people? What happened? Who got influenced overtime? If she won them to the Lord, then great! But sadly, it’s not what happened. The company won her. Kate was succumbed to the influence of her classmates, and the “friendship evangelism” goal was gone with the smoke vapor in the clubs.
Let us evaluate ourselves. Have we been in the same series of events like Kate’s, or are we currently experiencing such? Let us beware. Be vigilant of the first signs of getting to that trap. And here’s a helpful Psalm to know the early signs, and discover how to get away from it and the promise that awaits us if we obey:
Happy are those
who reject the advice of evil people,
who do not follow the example of sinners
or join those who have no use for God.
Instead, they find joy in obeying the Law of the Lord,
and they study it day and night.
They are like trees that grow beside a stream,
that bear fruit at the right time,
and whose leaves do not dry up.
They succeed in everything they do. ~ Psalm 1:1-3
I thank the Psalmist for putting in it simple and in straightforward manner. So first, if we hear bad advice, reject it. If we are being enticed by wicked people to follow their ways, do not follow. If they ask us to join them, do not join. In other versions, the wordings are “walk…stand…sit”, quite logical in arrangement when we link it to real-life encounter. Sometimes when you want to know a person, you first take a walk with him, engage in a conversion. Then if the conversation seems to lead to a good direction, you stop for a while and stand in one corner, continue with the chit-chatting. If the engagement grows to a more interesting one, he might invite you to sit for a coffee and continue the talk. Well, if you guess that person is interesting because of his good moral character, then go do this 3-step guidelines. BUT if you see the person as someone who wouldn’t make a good influence on you and hinder you from walking with God, then better stop as early as possible. Just keep in mind what the Lord promises those who will obey Him. What a joy!
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