I came across this verse the other day, and it really stood out to me. Paul surely doesn’t mess around with his writing!
You know what, though? He’s right.
I am so grateful that I was raised to behave with manners, and to treat others with kindness and respect. Of course, when I was in my adolescence, I went through my own phase of thinking that I knew it all (clearly I didn’t), but thankfully that season is long past.
However, I’ve actually seen this verse lived out. I have been in places where people seem to be kind and genuine, and then watched as they literally transformed into the “bad company” they had chosen as their friends.
But I think that’s more the exception than the rule. I was taught a few good manners/”home training” fundamentals that I still practice to this day. They are simple things that I believe are appreciated by most people:
- Saying “thank you” like you mean it.
- Saying “excuse me,” politely, even when someone else plows into you unexpectedly!
- Prefacing a request with the word “please,” (or “kindly” – one of my favorites) and then wrapping up a conversation with a warm thank you when the person has done as you asked.
- Asking questions, rather than making demands. I have been told by men and women alike that I can be a little intimidating – even though I don’t mean to be – so I’ve learned to occasionally offer my feedback in the form of a question.
- Addressing people in/around my parents’ age as “Mr.” and “Mrs.”
These things may seem small, but they are effective. They are just a sample of the things that have worked for me; your list may look different. Regardless, the key takeaway here is not to do as I have done, but rather to ensure that the people with whom you spend most of your time qualify as good company, rather than the shady characters Paul warns us about in this verse. Choose your friends wisely!
Dear Lord, thank You for this important reminder/warning from the 1 Corinthians 15. When and if I experience poor and selfish behavior from others, I can be sure that they’re likely (but not always) leaning toward the category of “bad company”. To that end, I would be wise to keep my distance.
Thanks also for the solid way that I was raised. Help me to remember that when I am respectful and kind to others, then I am also honoring You. In Your name I pray, Amen,