Paul wrote, “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners” (1 Corinthians 15:33). The “communications” mean “companionships,” while “manners” means “moral habits.” Thus, the people we choose to be around will influence us either poorly or richly.
An example of this is seen in 1 Peter 3:1-2: “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.” A wife’s good influence can contribute to the conversion of her husband. Likewise, her apathy or indifference toward the Lord and His work will likely cause her husband to be lost forever. When I think of my influence, I am a husband, father, son-in-law, uncle, nephew, grandchild, friend and neighbor. I influence a lot of people! If I am careless and ungodly, then I risk losing my influence. If I do so, I violate the Lord’s command (Matthew 5:13-16). I am no longer the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world.”
So the next time you hear a dirty joke, are tempted to lust after your neighbor’s wife, get angry and speak a word of profanity or refuse to go to the worship assemblies of the church, remember your influence on all kinds of people! “In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you” (Titus 2:7-8).