By Joanna Peterson
All my friends are Christians, therefore I am safe from corruption, I smugly thought to myself. Didn’t I see these friends every Sunday and Wednesday at worship as well as social gatherings on weekends? Staying at home with my two little girls, I no longer had to listen to fellow workers cursing and telling filthy jokes. I wasn’t subjected to their humanistic views. I was all set to be a strong Christian wife and mother, right? Wrong!
After a couple of years had passed, I noticed an apathy for all things spiritual. I no longer sang hymns around the house or in the car. I had virtually stopped praying to my God. My Bible was never opened at home and something which had never happened to me before began. I started finding excuses to miss worship services because I felt I was getting nothing from them.
That much was true. I was getting nothing from them. But that was no one’s fault but my own. Most people don’t realize how difficult it is to follow a lesson or sermon when a mother must take her baby out for changing, feeding or rocking at every service. But while this makes attention difficult, it is something I could have overcome if I had desired.
When my husband questioned my weak faith, I gave him the baby excuse. I must say, in my own defense, that I firmly believed this myself. What I didn’t see were the subtle influences which I had let creep into my life. These were the actual bad companions which were corrupting my morals.
Instead of singing hymns, I turned a rock station on in my car and in my house. While I did my work the lyrics of these songs coursed through my brain. Some of these songs weren’t bad within themselves, but they took the place of spiritual songs in my life and that is where they became a sin unto me.
Another bad companion I took was my television. Oh, not the prime time shows which I acknowledged to be suggestive or downright foul, but the evening news and the late night talk shows. These shows are more subtle. They are giving out facts, are they not? Yet they are only giving negative facts with few exceptions. Stories of terrorists and, worse in my opinion, crazed shootists in our own country severely shock my faith in God and man. The late night comedians who ridicule our leaders and everything else important to us, especially religion, made me feel that everyone felt as they did. I’m afraid I felt somewhat as Elijah did when he said, “I, even I only, am left.”
The third group of bad companions I took were the movies. We didn’t visit the theater much because of the expense. But we own a video cassette recorder and that is where the problem arose. It wasn’t that we watched dirty movies. What hurt my faith further was that we watched movies almost every weekend. The movie studios are not known for their high morals or a desire to teach right from wrong. Such a steady intake of their humanistic and anti-religious ideas couldn’t help but influence mine. Without even realizing it, I began adopting some of those views.
Therefore, though I thought I was treading the straight and narrow path, I had slowly slid from it. This had happened so slowly that I didn’t even realize it till it was almost completed. When I did catch myself I immediately put these bad companions from me and began singing, praying, and worshiping my God again.
Guardian of Truth XXXIII: 5, p. 139
March 2, 1989