Getting Ahead: ‘Keeping Company’

By John G. Pfeifer - Religion Columnist

When I was a child growing up I was taught that you must keep the right company.

My parents would monitor my friends and if they did not act right, I was told that I could not play with them. This went on until I was a teenager. The few times this happened, I did not agree with my parents. I thought that they were wrong about that particular friend and I was not happy about being made to stay away from them. However, as I look back at those times, I see that they were not being judgmental about that friend, but that I actually had gotten in trouble when I was with them.

This decision by my parents was a decision made after the fact and was based on my behavior when I had been with that friend.

We can influence people for the right or the wrong thing. As parents and grandparents we have seen that children, teenagers and even adults can be influenced to do the wrong thing. We have also witnessed that we can be influenced by the right thing.

The trouble is that the wrong influence appears to prevail most of the time. Is bad influence stronger than good influence? Are we influenced by others to do the wrong thing or is it something we choose to do and would have fallen into anyway? If people that are using their influence for the wrong thing are never around people that use their influence for the right thing, can they ever do better? What is the truth in this matter? Is the influence of others stronger than our personal choice or is our choice stronger than their influence?

These and other life questions will be addressed Sunday morning as “The Gathering Place Family” meets in the Washington High School Library for Bible Study at 9:30 and in the gymnasium at 10 a.m. for our Pre-Service Connection where we enjoy coffee, juice and donuts. Our Worship Service and Children’s Church then begins at 10:30. Come at 7 p.m. and be part of our Wednesday night Bible Study and Children’s Ministry on the third floor above Trends at 120 West Court St. in Washington C.H.

By John G. Pfeifer

Religion Columnist