Of course you have heard the old motto, "All it takes is one bad apple to spoil the whole bushel"?
Ever notice every time a kid or young adult gets in trouble his/her parents respond with "Yeah, he was a great kid until he got with the wrong crowd"? So if everyone who gets in trouble was influenced by the wrong crowd, who is the wrong crowd and what are their parents saying?
I have never heard a parent say, "my kid WAS the wrong crowd."
When I stand in church and give my testimony I have four points that need to be addressed. In those four points there are some key elements to remember.
1. Keep the testimony 3-6 minutes long. Period.
2. Don't glorify sin or the enemy.
3. Lift up Jesus, it is His work in us. Don't exalt a church or a person, they didn't save us.
4. KISS=Keep it simply simple. Don't use church words that the lost would not know.
The 4 points of a testimony:
#1 My life before I was saved. (Remember element #2 above).
#2 How I realized I needed to be saved.
#3 How and where I received Christ.
#4 My life now that I am saved. (Concentrate mainly on this one)
Now back to bad company: When I give my 4 points in my testimony, on #1 I confess that I was the guy that your parents warned you about. I was the bad crowd. I seemed to look for and found trouble.
Which takes me back to the One bad apple spoils the whole bushel. When my sons were young they did not understand why they could not do what all the other kids in school did. I will not stand before God for all the other kids but I knew that I was answerable to God for my two sons. Therefore I tried to keep them from morally bad influences. If they were going to mess up and sin then let it be totally on them and not influenced by bad kids. Do I have Scriptures for this? I am glad that you asked.
1 Corinthians 15:33 ESV (33) Do not be deceived: "Bad company ruins good morals."
Matthew 24:4 ESV And Jesus answered them, "See that no one leads you astray.
Charles Morris. Founder and Senior Pastor of RSIM USA.