As we continue to think about how our culture explains away inappropriate behavior, another explanation is that our parents or society is responsible for our sinful behavior. We often excuse our behavior, by saying, ” did what I did, because of what you did. Fore example: I would never have gotten angry with you if you would not have broken the vase. This leads us to the question, do faulty relationships or bad environments CAUSE me to sin? Proverbs 13:20 reminds us that “The one who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed.” While those we walk with affect the choices we make, they do not CAUSE us to behave sinfully. It is not what actually happens between people that creates sinful behavior, it is the way we perceive that relationship and the way we emotionally respond to that perception. “Perception” and “response” are the two key words here. In all relationships, we perceive the other party as having a certain attitude toward us, and we respond to the other party according to our own perceptions of that attitude. In other words, people don’t respond emotionally to what is real, only to what they perceive as real. I must understand that I am responsible for my behavior before God. 1 Corinthians 10:31 tells us, “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” While it is hard for us to stand against the poor choices of those around us, their choices do not FORCE us to behave sinfully, it is our desire to be included and fear of what others may think that leads us to do what those around us are doing. We can and must do the things that bring honor and glory to God. One of the benefits of having a redemptive community (church) is that it enables us to make the hard choices to choose to do what is right. If you don’t have a church home, begin to look for a good redemptive community today.