Anticipation was buzzing amidst our college-prep English class. Our high school teacher was tough, not only a stickler for correct grammar and creative thought, but also clever enough to expand the cultural appetite of her students. She was taking us to the theater! Most of us had no idea what to expect as we found our way to our seats to view a work by Spanish novelist Miguel de Cervantes y Saavedra. On the stage before us unfolded the remarkably moving, poignant story of Don Quixote de la Mancha, better known as The Man of La Mancha. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, but one quote in particular from that evening stayed with me, for has deep wisdom in its words: Tell me thy company, and I will tell thee what thou art. Truth be told, we are often known by the company we keep.
A melancholy Bible story centers around one of King David’s sons, Amnon. Although the practice was vehemently disallowed by Mosaic Law, Amnon had a romantic crush on his half-sister, Tamar. The incestuous relationship should never have been allowed to progress, for the Word of God clearly states, “And if a man shall take his sister…he shall bear his iniquity.” Now the temptation to do something wrong is in itself problematic, but in this case, that evil thought was allowed to root and to blossom, for “Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab…and Jonadab was a very subtil man.”
Amnon’s friend devised a devious, dark plan to fulfill that evil lust, a plan that Amnon would put into action. An initial desire was left unchecked and unchallenged, even encouraged by a friend, and that lust conceived, and brought forth sin, “and sin, when it (was) finished, bringeth forth death.” A tragic chain of events would unfold because of the ungodly advice of a friend. Tamar, Amnon’s half-sister, would be shamed, her life left desolate and ruined; Absalom, her enraged brother, would murder Amnon in an act of revenge; King David would banish his beloved Absalom from the kingdom as punishment, even though deep within his heart, David “longed to go forth unto Absalom.” Absalom would steal the hearts of the people of Israel, attempt a coup for his father’s kingdom, and be killed in the process. When all was said and done, David would be left with a devastated daughter and two dead sons, a high price to pay for a questionable friendship.
We are warned that “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” Even as Christians, we need to be keenly aware of the company we keep and the influence that they exert on our lives. We need to guard our children closely and monitor the relationships they are allowed to pursue. We are commanded to preach the gospel to all the world, but when choosing those close friends and confidants, let’s be cautious and wise.
I Corinthians 15:13 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
God, I am so thankful for the friends that You have placed in my life, godly men and women who guide me in truth. Lord, keep me cautious and keenly aware that we are often defined by the company we keep.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-2210-6393f4b31e7eb' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=2210&origin=wp.blog.blog.grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-2210-6393f4b31e7eb' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-2210-6393f4b31e7eb' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>