1 Corinthians 15:33, "Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character."
2 Corinthians 6:14-18, "Don't become partners with those who reject God. How can you make a partnership out of right and wrong? That's not partnership; that's war. Is light best friends with dark? Does Christ go strolling with the Devil? ... God Himself put it this way: ‘I'll live in them, move into them; I'll be their God and they'll be My people. So leave the corruption and compromise; leave it for good ... Don't link up with those who will pollute you. I want you all for Myself. I'll be a Father to you; you'll be sons and daughters to Me.'" (MSG)
"Show me your friends, and I'll show you your future." - Pastor Ed Young
Have you ever been guilty by association? Maybe you hung out with people who had a bad rep, and people started assuming that you were just like them? The fact is that no matter how hard you try, spending the majority of your time with the wrong crowd will eventually rub off on you. You'll begin to think and act the way they think and act.
You might be thinking, "Yeah, but they're my friends! What if I can't find other people who accept me for who I am?" Maybe the thought of finding new friends scares you. Or, perhaps you're worried about loneliness. Those are all legitimate concerns. But when you seek to do life God's way, He will bless you with the "right THEY!" So, look for friends who are:
Tough and Tender - They'll tell you what you need to hear, even if it's tough, and be tender as they support you through difficult times.
Honest - They'll never lie to you, even if it's to make you feel better.
Encouraging and Exciting - They're fun to be around, and they'll cheer you on as you follow Christ.
Yielded to God - They're crazy about Jesus and live under the authority of His Word.
These friends will always help and not hinder your walk with God! So, how do you find the right THEY? A great place to start is by consistently making church a priority on Sundays, joining a connect group, and serving in the house. Searching for the right THEY isn't always the easiest journey, but it's definitely the best route to living out who God created you to be!
Do a friend-ventory: How many of your closest friends are the right THEY? If the answer is one or none, ask God to put Christ-followers with common interests in your path and strongly consider increasing your involvement in the local church!
God, Please help me to find the right THEY and grant me the courage to distance myself from the wrong crowd. Give me the wisdom to build the right relationships and be a great friend to others. In Jesus' name, Amen.