Last week, God led me to write about community. He has blessed me so much in the area of life that I am constantly humbled before Him. Reflecting on this, however, I realize that in finding this community, I was obedient to the Lord. I saw two paths laid in front of me—one of Christian fellowship, and one of the typical “college life.” Words cannot explain how different I would be if I choose the latter.
Today, the Lord is calling me to write about the corruption of bad community.
Imagine you have a desire to complete a half-marathon along side a friend. Even though you are feeling strong on this run, your friend feels the need to walk, or stop, so you stop and walk with him or maybe even stop altogether, never finishing the race.
In a team sport, we cannot have any selfish players. Anyone who is on the field for themselves brings us down as a unit. When we think of our own playing time or success over the good of the team, it leads to further insecurities, maybe pessimistic thoughts, and overall negativity. The result? The whole team falls.
So while last week I talked about how working out with others, or even a team, can push you to work harder and give you accountability, it can also, in the opposite way, bring you down. It can keep you from being the best competitor that you can be.
We see this cycle often in the Old Testament with the nation of Israel: the community as a whole turns against God, worshiping idols, living impure lives, and knowingly breaking the commandments.
Proverbs 13:20 says, “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.”
In the New Testament, we see the same warning from Paul:
1 Corinthians 15:33 says, “bad company corrupts good character.”
If you have never prayed about or for community, start today. This is essential in our spiritual journeys. We need the people in our lives who are willing to run along side of us, motivating us, and encouraging us to finish the race. We need the type of teammates that don’t play for only themselves but for something bigger.
We need the type of friends that are going to encourage us to love the Lord with all of our heart, with all of our soul, with all of our mind, and with all of our strength. (Matthew 22:37)