One Bad Apple

Gwen SmithBlog, Christian Living, Friendship, Holiness, Temptation, Wisdom 3 Comments

Who we hang out with is a big deal.

“One bad apple can spoil the bunch.” Remember that old saying? Well, I found out it’s actually true about apples! Here’s the deal. There’s a gas that’s a “fruit-ripening hormone” called ethylene. In apples, the level of ethylene gas rises continually as they ripen, go through their lifecycles, and eventually rot. Because the release of ethylene gas increases as an apple rots, it accelerates the ripening (and rotting) of all the apples in close proximity to the rotting one. (Yay! Biology!) Don’t fall asleep on me.

Another old saying with a similar sentiment is this, “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.”

Some say, “Show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are.”

King Solomon wrote, “The one who walks with the wise will become wise, but a companion of fools will suffer harm.” (Proverbs 13:20, CSB) When we “walk [as a companion]” (AMP) with wise friends we become wise. And when we don’t… when we are “companions of [conceited, dull-witted fools] (AMP) and we “associate with” (NLT) and “hang out with” fools (MSG) we are fools ourselves and will “experience harm” (AMP) “get in trouble” (NLT) and “be destroyed” (NKJV). (Proverbs 13:20)

It’s simple and true. Who we hang out with is a big deal, whether we’re apples or people.

King Solomon also explained, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” (Proverbs 9:10) These proverbs nailed both the importance of choosing wise friends and the wisdom of hanging tight with the Lord.

King David, Solomon’s dad, talked about the importance of these things as well. David, the writer of Psalm 101, made a compelling connection between choosing wise friends and living a holy (blameless) life (v2). He stressed the importance of pursuing personal purity and choosing to build closest friendships with those who are godly and truthful (v 6-7). He also made sure to stay clear of companions who are faithless, perverse, prideful, and slanderous (v 3-5).

It bears repeating, the people we surround ourselves with is a big deal.

Living a life of integrity that honors God doesn’t happen on its own for any of us.

So today I think about those I associate most closely with. I give thanks for the good apples, friends who build into my life… who pray with and for me, who share burdens and celebrate victories with me and who cry over losses beside me. And I’m reminded to distance myself from rotting apples.

Dear Lord,

Please purify my heart. Help me to make wise choices about the people in my life. Show me if there are any rotten apples I need to distance myself from and give me courage to do hard things for right reasons.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.


How did this message resonate with you today? Is there something God is calling you to do in response? Is there a relationship that needs to end or a conversation that needs to happen? Tell me about it in a direct message on Instagram.

Spend some time in prayer about this. Post a prayer of response on the wall of my blog. Pray for each other

Love doing life with you!

Comments 3

  1. Dear Gwen,
    It was with such delight that I found your post this morning. You are one of the “good apples” that my daughter and I love to spend a little time with during our worship each morning. Thank you for your faithful, honest, beautiful sharing over the years. I feel as though we are truly “Girlfriends in God” and will one day meet in the Kingdom of our great LORD and King. Thank you for your service! We hope to see another post from you again soon.

  2. Dear Lord,
    Please allow me to keep Mark out of my life, forever
    Thank you for your patience with me. In taking far to long to realize he is the devil in disguise
    Many Blessings

    1. This morning I was reading in scripture the following passages….
      “Get rid of the old “yeast” by removing this wicked person from among you. Then you will be like a fresh batch of dough made without yeast, which is what you really are. Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us. So let us celebrate the festival, not with the old bread of wickedness and evil, but with the new bread of sincerity and truth. When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that. I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people. It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.”
      1 Corinthians 5:7‭-‬13 NLT
      This is a very powerful scripture & really in your face… tonight I read your email on “bad apples”
      Wow God is really telling me something, just need to ask Him to reveal the person/persons…

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