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Facts of the Matter

A weekly letter of encouragement and challenge to business and professional men and women
Wednesday, August 22, 2001
Dear Colleagues,

“BAD COMPANY CORRUPTS GOOD MORALS” (I Cor. 15:33a)

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Good Morning!

George, an upwardly mobile, fast track yuppie – and a professed follower of Christ, made the mistake of becoming the chief operations officer of a company owned by a wheeler-dealer with a reputation around town as a “Slime Ball”.  But the six digit income and the numerous perks proved irresistible.  Aware of Solomon’s warning, I watched at a distance, wondering if he could survive the association,

“My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them.  If they say, ‘Come along with us…let’s waylay some harmless soul; we will get all sorts of valuable things…Throw in your lot with us, and we will share a common purse’– my son, do not go along with them, do not set foot on their paths.”   (Prov. 1:10, 11a,c, 13a, 14, 15)

At one point, I remember asking, “George, how can you stay clean in that environment?”  But he readily assured me that he had it “under control.

I am reminded of King Rehoboam who rejected the sage advice of his father’s advisors for that of his brash peers.  Soon thereafter his career ended in disgrace.  (I Kings 12 – 14; 2 Chron. 10:1-11:4)

 Or King Jehosophat, who ignored a godly prophet’s counsel, while aligning himself in battle with a godless king.  He too experienced ignominious defeat.  (I Kings 22; 2 Chron. 18:1-34)

 Recently I learned that the “Slime Ball”’s company had dissolved, leaving scores of investors in crisis.  Both George (who had also borrowed heavily to invest in the stock market – which crashed shortly thereafter) and his boss have fled the country to avoid prosecution, angry creditors and investors.

How applicable is Proverbs 13:20,   “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.”

To put this issue into perspective, I think it is important for us to understand that we, as Christ’s disciples  are to mix it up with the lost rather than  retreat into a monastery.  (Matt. 9:10-13; I Cor. 1: 5:9-11) But, we are not to become unequally yoked with them. (I Cor.6:14-18)  In other words,

 We are to be in the world, but not be of the world

“My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.”  (Jn. 17:15,16)

 QUESTION: Are you making business alliances with people whose values are not centered in Biblical truth? Do you, like George, believe God need not be taken seriously when He states, “Bad company corrupts good morals”?  If so, are you prepared to live with the inevitable consequences?

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

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