Have you ever thought about the saying ‘guilt by association’? For some unknown reason, I woke up thinking about it this morning. It’s a subject that can run so deep that it actually ruined my last hour of sleep. Because, of course, my ever-wandering mind decided to take it on a bon-trip. **Said while doing a James Gandolfini eye-roll**
Guilt by association. Here’s one term in life that’s very simple – it means just what it says. Lays it right on out there. If you associate or align yourself with someone who is guilty, it makes you guilty as well. Say I give you two very good examples. I consider the first one external, inflicted on you by an outside source, with little to no control on your part – and the second internal, something you as an individual decide to do or participate in.
Once upon a time there was a successful business owner. He had a wonderful family, many friends and the respect of his employees. Along comes a snake of a man that he allows to infiltrate his company. Said snake secures his self a comfortable position in the business, and begins annihilating the business owner’s employees of long tenure with his dirty tongue and slithering acts. The workers were hurt the business owner not only allowed this to happen but to continue, and eventually the entire crew was forced to seek employment elsewhere. The business owner lost the respect of these employees. Guilt by association, or alignment.
Once upon a time a lady fell in love with a man. It was a whirlwind romance, and all happened within a short period of time. It was made apparent to her almost from the very beginning that the man was an atheist. The lady was a Christian, and the fact that she was with someone who rebuked the Lord bothered her considerably. She was in love though – so she consistently made excuses and thought one day, someday… he’ll come to know and accept the Truth. One day the truth came out all right, but not the kind of truth she’d hoped for. This truth had a very ugly head, beastlike even – the relationship ended there. In retrospect, to this day the lady bashes herself for ever allowing herself to be with someone who denounced the Word of God. Guilt by association, or alignment.
Sometimes it’s hard in life to disassociate ourselves with a person we know we should not be aligned with. It can be very difficult to just say no. Oftentimes mistakes have to be made to learn to do ‘the right thing’ – I’ve certainly made my share of those mistakes.
Align yourself with good people, always try to do the right thing, and help others whenever possible. Not only will it make you feel good and draw you closer to God, but you’ll be avoiding the old guilt by association thing.