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  • Writer's pictureElpidio Pezzella

Choose Well Your Companion

"Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits".

(1 Corinthians 15:33 NKJV)

The apostle Paul admonished the Corinthians by quoting a saying by Euripides (485-407 BC) taken up by Menander, a Greek playwright who lived between 342 and 291 BC. in his collection of moral writings used in schools (the Taide fragment 218). The quote is part of a speech to clarify fundamental points of the Christian faith that some were questioning. And it is to them that he alludes, calling them "bad company", seeing in them "wolves in sheep's clothing". His concern is that of any shepherd who tries to preserve the flock. Some popular sayings, such as "whoever goes with the wolf learns to howl" and "whoever goes with the lame learns to limp", are on the same wavelength. Every believer is certainly not called to live a life devoid of social relationships, since the Lord did not take us out of the world, but he sent us to be light and salt, even though we were aware that we would be sheep among the wolves. Since all that glitters is not gold, it is good to pay close attention to who we hang out with, because not all those who call themselves friends are really friends.

As a parent I am continually recommending my children to carefully choose the friendships to cultivate, to consider carefully what common interests there are, in order to prevent unpleasant consequences. I'm sure many others do the same. With too much lightness, at times, we choose to spend time with people we hardly know and who may turn out to be disreputable, and who gradually create bonds from which it is difficult to extricate themselves, to the detriment of their family and spiritual life. With paternal wisdom and an experience behind him, the wise ruled: "He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed" (Proverbs 13:20). The Polish writer Stanislaw J. Lec wrote that "dating dwarfs deforms the spine", evoking a particular degeneration, which certainly does not want to be a lack of sensitivity towards some. Unfortunately, it is common nowadays to adapt more and more to vulgarity and stupidity, therefore to low things. For a quick response, just peek into social media, increasingly a mirror of our soul, but also of our mind. More and more we end up bent under piles of garbage words and ideas, submerged by vulgar and scurrilous expressions, thoughts that are a waste of intelligence. All this has repercussions on the soul, increasingly heavy and unable to rise to God and the heaven of morality and truth.

Perhaps we should examine ourselves and start over from the initial warning: "Do not be deceived". We have the courage to admit that we can all make mistakes and get confused, since we cannot exclusively trust ourselves, our feelings. Our security will not prevent us from falling into error. We are not infallible. For this the immediate advice is to surround ourselves with wise people, whose life is clear and from whom we can learn. And the bible is very clear about it. The same apostle always urged the Corinthians to look to his example (1Corinthians 11:1; 4:16). The writer reminded the Jews that every believer should look at those who walk well and then imitate them (Hebrews 6:11-12; 13:7). But to live like this it takes tons of humility to be able to recognize that we need to grow and that some walk better than us. Our friend pride instead pushes us to seek relationships with those who are more or less at our level, or even more immature than us.

Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.

The ungodly are not so, But are like the chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the ungodly shall perish.

Greet the words of Psalm 1, according to which there are three actions to be avoided. More than sitting, walking or stopping, the company of the wicked, sinners and scoffers is to be avoided. The wicked is the one who carries out perfidious actions towards a similar one to him. We cannot walk with those who are not interested in the good of others for the benefit of him. The sinner carries out actions contrary to God's will. Blessed is he who does not stop in his way. There is a way that Jesus defined as broad and spacious, which leads to eternal perdition: it is traveled with pleasure by sinners, everything is easy, easy and within reach. It would not seem like it, but it is downhill and leads to the depths, from where it is not possible to go up. The mocker, on the other hand, is the one who makes fun not only of the Lord's people, but also of Scripture. His attitude tends to ridicule those who live by faith. Blessed is he who does not sit with such people, and shares nothing in their actions. The choice is yours.

Weekly Bible Reading

Plan # 17

April 19, 2 Samuel 6-8; Luke 15:1-10

April 20, 2 Samuel 9-11; Luke 15:11-32

April 21, 2 Samuel 12-13; Luke 16

April 22, 2 Samuel 14-15; Luke 17:1-19

April 23, 2 Samuel 16-18; Luke 17:20-37

April 24, 2 Samuel 19-20; Luke 18:1-23

April 25, 2 Samuel 21-22; Luke 18:24-43


Foto di greensmoke,

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