Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” – 1 Corinthians 15:33
I have a confession to make.
I like to drive fast.
The adrenaline rush that surges through my body when my foot hits the pedal cannot be replaced by many things.
However, after being in the passenger seat of a car stopped for speeding one too many times, I learned my lesson. As pleasurable as the speeding is, the ticket, the fine, and the points on your license really is not worth it. I can get my adrenaline somewhere else: running, tae kwon do, rock climbing – things that do not involve tickets.
To keep me from avoiding the dreaded speeding ticket, I turned to my cruise control. No more than three over the speed limit and I turn it out, sighing heavily as I watch people zoom by me. But I know that it’s good for me. The speed limits are there for a reason. They are there for my benefit, my safety.
The past few months, through discipline, I have gotten quite good at regulating my speed.
The other night, I left class, and joined the traffic merging onto the highway. My class had been enjoyable so I was in super high spirits, my music was blasting in the car, and I was singing along as I sped down the road. Without even paying attention to my speed and completely engulfed in my music, I kept up with the flow of traffic. For some reason, I looked down and my eyes bugged out when they caught my speed. I was going miles over the limit completely unaware. So naturally I moved over to the right lane and set my cruise back to the speed limit, right?
I was too far gone by now, my heart was already speeding up. If I stopped now, the rush would be halted, and there was no having that. I could feel it in my hands, up through my arms. I was with the flow of traffic. Everyone around me was driving fast, so why couldn’t I drive fast? I mean if everyone is doing it – why can’t I do it????
And then God intervened, and a message rushed through my mind.
“Oh, how easily you slip, little one.”
WAIT! What? Was God adding “Thou shalt not speed,” to the ten commandments?
Not exactly. I don’t advocate speeding. While some would definitely not list it as a sin, it is breaking the law, and God wants us to obey the laws around us, but this message isn’t about speeding. No, no, no.
God’s point was how easily we are led astray. Even in something so little as speeding, I had slipped. I had been so good at watching my speed, obeying the laws, and setting my cruise diligently, but all it took was one moment – one moment to forget. I was with the flow of traffic, and the traffic was driving fast so why couldn’t I? I hadn’t done it intentionally, but I still done it nonetheless. I did it because everyone else was doing it.
Iron sharpens Iron, and one man sharpens another – Proverbs 27:17
Have you ever done that? Have you ever been working hard not to do something, and then you get around people that are doing. You fight and fight and fight, but finally you give in to the temptation.
“Well, everyone else was doing it…”
My goodness! How many times have we said that about things? I tried cocaine because my friend was, I smoked because my friend offered me one, I drank to the point of unconsciousness because everyone else at the party was, I had sex with my boyfriend because everyone else was…on and on and on the list goes.
But it doesn’t have to be that way! We don’t have to be that way. We don’t have to do because everyone else is doing. We must learn to watch ourselves, guard our surroundings, and be selective when it comes to choosing the kind of people we hang out with. Your friends’s doings will rub off on you. Their actions will sooner or later become your actions.
Have you ever been in a situation where you did something or said something only because the people around you were doing it? It is amazing to me how we so easily are led astray by those around us. We can go into a situation with our minds completely set on not doing anything wrong, but before we know it, we’ve fallen again.
So easily we are wooed by the dark side, we forget ourselves, our morals, our better judgment so easily all because it is what everyone else is doing.
Be on your guard! Ask yourself: what kind of people are you hanging out with? Are they behaving in a manner that is worthy and pleasing to God? Are you behaving in a manner that is worthy and pleasing to God?
We can so easily fall into temptation, at any time, any place. It can happen when you least expect it. One minute everything is fine, and the next you are spiraling downward.
If you know there is something, you struggle with, avoid people who are participating in it. Why tempt yourself? Why make it hard on yourself? Make friends with people who lift you up in Christ, and not who test your morals every single time you are around them.
Thankfully, I could back out from the line of cars that were zipping their way down the interstate (and you’ll be proud, for I did) and move over and reduce my speed, but not all situations are as easy to get out of.
Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The Spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. – Matthew 26:41
Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God – Hebrews 3:12