Today I opened Facebook and like everyone else I scrolled through it and a certain picture captured my attention.
It was a picture of a woman I’ve known for many years, very modest, respectable and I admired her. The reason this picture got my attention is because she looked way different; the way she dressed, her makeup, her hair, the places she was spending time in and her way of speaking.
I was a bit shocked to be honest from such a drastic change and I wondered what happened. Then I saw it… the people she called friends.
I hope you don’t think I’m judging her but as a Christian I saw this and for me it confirmed what scripture says about us and the friends we choose to spend time with. I started examining my own heart and the people I choose to spend my time with.
Have you ever had the experience where you become friends with someone and you slowly start maybe talking like them? Use certain words they use? Maybe you start compromising here and there? You allow someone else to influence the way you dress and think? Slowly you dive in to that person’s way of living and next thing you know you’re neck deep in being something you’re not.
Friends are a blessing but many times in our ignorance or rebellion we choose the wrong friends and end up sinning against our Lord with our actions and words when influenced by the wrong people.
1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”
It doesn’t matter how good you are, if you start hanging out with people who are a certain way, eventually you end up being the same. The only one who could do this without sinning was Jesus because He’s perfect. We are not, we need to be careful.
Proverbs 22:24-25 “Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare.”
If scripture was inspired by the Holy Spirit, and God is the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit in one, then we must understand that even in our friendships we are to honor God in who we become friends with and that we must obey His Word to not become friends with bad company.
Proverbs 13:20 “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”
I will never think I have it all figured out or point fingers towards anyone who chooses the wrong friends but I always wonder if we have forgotten that Scripture gives us advice on who to call a friend. I had to learn the hard way… like always.
It’s truly a great blessing to have friends who point you to Jesus. Do you pray for your friends? Do you ask God to put people on your path that will love you and help you walk with Jesus? When was the last time you sat with God and asked Him about the people you call friends?
Right now in my life, I have maybe three good friends and those three good friends correct me, lead me, and love me enough to point me to Jesus.
John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”
Proverbs 27:17 “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
Many times, I’ve had to pray so God could send me a friend and in every season of my life He has provided and vice versa. I’ve had to ask God to show me the people who are a tripping stone. I don’t know about you but the last time I asked God to show me who I had to let go of to become closer to Him, I ended up with one friend who later on moved thousands of miles away. I’ll tell you what though, thinking back on this I am so glad He did that for me because in my foolishness I couldn’t see what He did. He sees far beyond what will ever see.
Friends are such a gift, it’s vital to make sure we are making God the center of all relationships so we can be soft-minded towards His Spirit when He calls us to let go of friends or if He calls us to make certain friends.
Going back to that woman I wrote about earlier, I began to speak to her and found out that yes, her friends had told her certain things that made her compromise her morals and personal convictions! She realized it and told me she had no idea it had changed that quickly.
Now I don’t know what she will choose to do or what she will be doing but I know that God calls us to be careful and if He calls us to such things we better have a soft heart to His Spirit so we don’t sin against Him.
So? What will you do?
I want to encourage you to pray over every single friend you have and see if God is calling you to move along or remain where you are. Let us never grow weary of listening to His Word.