Good Morals – Bad Company

As far as “Bad company corrupting good morals,” my sister wants her 14 yr old daughter (not a Christian) to join a Christian youth group. I wouldn’t want my daughter in a youth group with a bad girl like her. Where do you suggest the bad girl go to be under good influences without corrupting those around her? Isn’t it true that it’s easier to be dragged down than lifted up? She currently lives out-of-state with her non-Christian dad and his family. Please help if you can!
– Andromeda


First, let me say that I understand your concern. I do think that, as Christians, we should be discerning about who we choose to spend our time with. “Bad company corrupts good character” (I Corinthians 15:33).

However, I also think that, as Christians, we are commanded to share the gospel with the lost. “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation” (Mark 16:14-16).

Your sister’s daughter sounds like she really needs good influences in her life. She needs God. And we are commanded to share Him––-not wait for others to do so. As long as she is not disruptive, disrespectful, or defiant while in the youth group class, I think that she should be reached out to and included. There were many opportunities for “bad people” to have rubbed off on Jesus, yet He knew the importance of reaching out to the lost and chose to do that. I know we tend to think that Jesus was too superhuman for this to apply to, but the Bible tells us He was a man and was tempted just as we are tempted. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin” (Hebrews 4:14-16).

I think that this could also be a challenge to the youth group. It could be an opportunity for them to develop a closer bond with each other to withstand ungodly influences. It should also challenge them to study the Word more so that they can recognize when something is not in tune with what God says. I know many youth groups are too comfortable being with fellow believers and are not concerned enough about sharing God with the lost. This could be a wonderful opportunity for them. I don’t know of any better place for a lost sinner to be than with believers. Christians are warned against being unequally yoked with non-believers. “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:4) but in this case, your niece will be the one who is unequally yoked, which is a good thing!

Again, if she joins this youth group and is disrespectful and disruptive, then her heart is still hard to listening about and accepting Jesus. Pray for her that she will be open to hearing about His love for her, and convicted that she is a sinner. Also, pray for your own heart, that you will be open to showing her God’s love, and that your heart with be softened to see the positive things about your niece. Be a godly example for her, and encourage your children to be a godly example as well. Pray for your sister, who is most likely having a hard time dealing with a disobedient daughter. And lastly, pray for this girl’s father and his family. Remember, there are specific examples in the Bible of when a new believer helped lead his lost family to Jesus. This could be one such occasion. God works wonders in people’s hearts, and there is nobody who is so far removed from Him that they can’t come to Him if they desire to and are willing to repent.

– Lisa Grimenstein

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