Keeping Company

Be not deceived; bad company corrupts good morals. Come to your senses (sober up! is an alternate translation) and stop sinning; for some people are ignorant about God. I say this to your shame. I Corinthians 15:33

I called to the Lord in distress, and he answered me with freedom. Psalm 118:5 CSB alternate translation

I’ve been thinking about the company I keep, as well as the company I am. The folks I hung around when I was in school may not have been the best company for me to keep. God works it all out in the end if all is taken to Him, but things could have been much worse for me than they were. I wasn’t caught…

In AA, we are taught we have to change everything about our lives if we want to live a new life, if we want to stay sober. There, much more so than in the churches I am used to, is demanded a life of rigorous honesty. When your life is on the line, you stick to what is important.

We ask a lot of people in Alcoholics Anonymous. The language of the Big Book, at least the first 164 pages, has not been updated since the original publication. Some of the reading can be challenging, but you’ve got to want it; you’ve got to want to change your life. If someone comes to a meeting and says he or she is not sure if it’s for them, we tell them to go out and do some more “field testing”.

The AA program is not on the fence. Folks come in to change their lives, to hopefully restore relationships with family and themselves. It all starts with telling the truth and surrounding yourself with others who will do the same.

The Church can be like that, too. What if we had a “way of life” of discipleship for folks to follow, and mentors to lead the way like the sponsors in AA? What if we had an active path for becoming a disciple and teaching how to make disciples of others?

Keep company with those who want the changed life, if you want the changed life. Be with folks who encourage, uplift, correct, teach, learn. And pay attention to the one whose company can be the most dangerous, that voice you hear in your head and heart that you are not enough, that you can never be…

Too many keep company with that one for too long. I have spent too much time with that voice, and still can find company there. That voice is not from God.

You can get relief by calling out. Once more:

I called to the Lord in distress; he answered me with freedom.

About Frank Richard Coats

Follower of Jesus, husband and family man, pastor, picker, writer, missioner with the Inspire Movement
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