Backpedaling

Every Christian parent’s warning to their children: “33 Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”” – 1 Corinthians 15:33

This is a very simple teaching and a very simple message. But what profound applications it has. Iron sharpens iron (Proverbs 27:17) but cheese dulls the knife. Just as the things you spend time doing reflect on the level of importance and priority of those things; so too the people you spend time with.

The crowd we float with tends to tell us a bit about ourselves. The context of the above verse revolves around the resurrection of Jesus Christ. There were those who denied it’s truth, there were groups propagating false theology. While we all hope we can continue to be the light in an otherwise lightless room we know that darkness abhors the light. Either darkness will escape the light or it will become the light, right? Well, not always. We assume that darkness is the only thing that can change.

The sad reality is that while we hope darkness becomes light and that new light convicts more darkness so that light abounds more and more, we know that life is more of balance of darkness and light. Two incompatible forces ebbing back and forth. New lights popping up in new areas while old lights are snuffed out by darkness. Sometimes old lights are rekindled and sometimes new lights burn fervently enough to inspire other new lights.

Paul’s warning to the churches at Corinth and Galatia (1 Cor 5:6, Gal 6:7-9) is one about honesty. It is our hope that our lights can convert the darkness around us. But it is foolish to expect that, if we run with the darkness in the hope of changing the darkness, we can prevent the small leaven from leavening the whole loaf.

Some time ago Alaina and Roland were visiting with us northern folk. Back then Gia hadn’t quite learned to walk yet and so she was a quadrupedal. Roland was a fancy boy and could run and sprint and chase and otherwise completely outmaneuver Gia who was stuck on all fours. A few days of playing, chasing, and giggling later and Alaina watched in utter disbelief as Roland began to crawl on all fours again. She said she hadn’t seen Roland crawl in months. Gia’s bad influence, her “darkness” (sorry Gia, I love you) had provoked Roland to something he probably shouldn’t be doing.

Maybe this is more of a Paul’s “To the Jews I became like a Jew, and to the Gentiles I became like a Gentile” to win then over thing but the illustration stands nonetheless. Let us crawl so that we can help others to stand but be weary lest we find ourselves crawling more than standing.

In Him, Tony

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