Home Proverbs Bad company corrupts good character

Bad company corrupts good character


By Pr Isaiah White

Do you remember any of those childhood bedtime stories told to us by our parents?

Well, here is one of two parrots which built a nest in a banyan tree. They lived with their two young ones, which they took good care of.

The mother and the father parrot went out to gather food in the morning and came back home by evening. One day, when their parents were away, the young parrots were taken by a cruel hunter.

One of the birds managed to escape and flew away from the hunter. He ended up at a hermitage and grew up listening to kind words and compassion.

The hunter put the other parrot in a cage, and soon it learned a few words and phrases.

The hunter and his family were crude and did not care much about kind words.

One day, a passer-by was resting outside the hunter’s hut. Sensing someone outside, the parrot said: “Fool, why are you here? Fool! Leave! I’ll cut your throat.”

Scared, the traveler went away, and on his journey, he reached the hermitage where the other parrot was.

The parrot at the hermitage said: “Welcome traveler. You are free to stay here as long as you want.”

Surprised, the traveler told the parrot that he encountered a similar parrot elsewhere and it was very cruel.

The parrot replied: “That must be my brother. I live with the sages, and my brother lives with hunters.

“I learned the sage’s language, and my brother learned the hunter’s language. The company we keep decides who we will be.”

Moral of the story: Keep good company if you want to be a good person.

A bad peer of teens can introduce one to dangerous lifestyles, including use of drugs. (Photo/Teens)

Irony of Company
In life, you must be careful with associations. It has been said that “association breeds assimilation” (“mbulila gw’oyita naye nkubulile empisa zzo”, the Baganda say).

The more you stay around some people, the more you start thinking and acting like them.

It is for this reason that we are warned by God in the book of Proverbs that:

“My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. If they say, “Come with us, let us lie in wait to shed blood; let us lurk secretly for the innocent without cause; let us swallow them alive like Sheol, And whole, like those who go down to the Pit; We shall find all kinds of precious possessions, We shall fill our houses with spoil; Cast in your lot among us, let us all have one purse “ My son, do not walk in the way with them, Keep your foot from their path; For their feet run to evil, And they make haste to shed blood” (Proverbs 1:10-16).

Proverbs reminds us that every company you keep has a mission, and its number one agenda is to recruit you to that mission.

It is, therefore, important to know the mission statement of the group you belong to before you settle. Get to know what they think about God, marriage and family.

What is their worldview about work and development? When you have a conflict with friends or family, what does your core group propose as a solution?

These questions will help you understand how good or bad your company is.

Apostle Paul re-echoed Proverbs when he said: “Do not be deceived: evil company corrupts good habits.

“Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame” (1Corinthians 15:33-34). We are called to the awareness of this matter.

The writer is a life coach and pastor.


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