Choose wisely your friends. Have you ever heard this phrase, “guilty by association?” In other word’s, if you hang around people of bad behavior and character people will assume that you are the same. It does not matter if you are a good honest person, you will be lumped in with the friends you hang around. If they have a bad reputation, soon you will also. A lot of times we think,”well I can be a positive role model and help change them”, sometimes that is true, but most of the time it is the opposite and we begin to behave like our friends. The Bible speaks about this very thing. Here are a few examples we find in scripture.
1 Corinthians 15:33
33 Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
24 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Proverbs 22:24-25 24 Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, 25 or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared.
Proverbs 13:20 20 Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.
As a mother, I tried to teach my children this truth when they were young and now I see them telling their children these truths. Do you want to be seen as a good, honest, trustworthy person? Part of that is who you hang around. We all want to think that we can be the influencer, but too often we are the influenced. There are times when God will place you in a friendship that stretches you and your beliefs. Just know that if he has done that he will help you and strengthen you. You must pray for protection and wisdom. Go to the Lord daily for strength and guidance. Be aware when the Holy Spirit quickens you that something is amiss inside you or your friend.
Proverbs 27:17, As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. I have had people in my life that have sharpened me for the good, helped me grow in my faith, but I have also had friends that have sharpened me in not so good ways and I made poor choices. Proverbs 12:26 says: 26 The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
I want to choose my friends wisely. I want friends that enhance my walk with the Lord, a friend that is there in the hard times as well as the good. I want to be that kind of friend. I want to walk in love as we are commanded to do. John 15:22-13, My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. Choose wisely who you follow!
Be sure your relationship with the Lord is a strong one. Make sure you bring this friendship before the Lord and ask for wisdom to know if you are to proceed or step away. If the Lord asks you to step away he will also give you the wors and wisdom needed to do just that so that no one is hurt. Also, you can be the friend from a distance by lifting this person to the Lord daily. People can argue with your words and sometimes your actions if they disagree with you, but no one can stop your love and prayers sent to the Father on their behalf! After a while, you may find that you can revisit a physical friendship with them. God’s timing is always best.