Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
— 1 Corinthians 15:33
Several years ago, an author for Readers Digest was studying the Amish people in preparation for an article he was planning to write on them. As part of his research, he went to an Amish school, where he observed the children as they played in the school yard.
One observation the writer made was the young children never screamed or yelled at one another. This amazed him. So he went to the schoolmaster and asked why he never heard an Amish child yell at another. The schoolmaster replied, “Well, have you ever heard Amish adults yelling at one another?”
Whether we believe it or not and whether we like it or not, the things we do influence the next generation. The way we treat one another, the way we deal with stress, and the way we cope with hardship teaches younger people how they should react in the same situations. You influence others by what you do.
It’s irrational to think we’ll never make a mistake. But we must ask ourselves what example we are setting for younger people today. Are we acting how we want them to act? Are we repentant when we fall short? Live your life as an example to those who will follow. They’re watching!
Ask God to help you be a good example of godly living for the young generation to follow.
Questions for Thought
Growing up, who influenced you the most? Do you see some of their same tendencies in yourself?
If a young person was to spend significant time with you, what do you think they would learn from your character?