Pat McManus, author, humorist, and outdoorsman said when he was young his mother often warned him not to “fall in with bad company” until she realized that he was the bad company so she started warning neighborhood kids not to “fall in with him”. I wish all the stories you and I know about ‘bad company’ were funny, but sadly enough they’re not. Take for example Amnon, son of king David, back in 2nd Samuel chapter 13 who wasn’t exactly a ‘custos morum’ (guardian of morals) to begin with, who had himself a “bad company” friend named Jonadab. If there was a ‘bad company’ event in the Olympic Games Jonadab would’ve taken the gold. [*And doubtless wouldn’t kneel to honor the flag or the country that made it possible]. Anyway, Jonadab is a real character…and Amnon was an explosion waiting for the fuse to be lit. Being just the man for the job, Jonadab is the man with the matches. Amnon had a beautiful, innocent half-sister named Tamar, daughter of king David. Amnon wanted her and the Bible says he ‘loved her’. But, as meditative adults know, the Beetles’ song lyrics “all ya need is love” is ridiculous. Amnon’s is a scorpion ‘love’, you’ll get stung in the end. Jonadab cooks up a devious little plan to lure Tamar into Amnon’s house – alone, where he forces and rapes her. Then, as we’d all expect, is so often the case, he decides instead of love that he hates her and discards her in shame. No, love is NOT all you need. It can be wonderful yes, but it can also be defiled and disgusting. Love is often as stupid as it is blind. Amnon’s “bad company” friend lit the fuse and it ends up costing Amnon his life two years later when his brother Absalom killed him for this terrible deed. It is a horrible tale [2nd Samuel chapter 13] and a classic demonstration of the danger of “bad company”. Perhaps you might be thinking “yeah but Amnon did the deed”. I agree and I wouldn’t excuse his behavior under any circumstances. However, Amnon might never have summoned the courage to act on his defiled desires if not for “bad company” giving him that little push. Wrong friends & bad company make for a ruined life. Haven’t we all seen this? Don’t we all know someone, if not several, whose life is a ruin and it is as much the result of wrong friends and bad company as anything? I could tell you and I’d bet you could tell me of some whose marriage fell into ruin, or whose children ended up in jail, or whose husband landed in jail or worse and for no other reason than falling in with bad company. How can you tell when a friend is actually just bad company dressed as a friend? For ONE Bad company tends to steer you away from Godly views, offering instead the world’s advice. If it isn’t blatant, then it will be subtle and gentle. There will be frequent views and statements that are contrary to scripture and the Holy Spirit within you. There will be frequent immoral and inappropriate counsel, profane language and immoral ideologies. Bad company always seems to put YOU first and gives your desires and passions preeminence. Remember and remind yourself often: ‘our passions make good servants but terrible masters’. Visit with us at Calvary Baptist Church and see what a difference Christ can make in your life! We’re located on loop 256 right across from the Pizza Hut next to the veterinarian clinic. 903-729-5924