I’ve noticed recently just how much time I spend with my friends. Especially with my school friends who I spend at least thirty hours every week! Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with my friends, but it makes me wonder just how much I’m influenced by them. How have they affected me as a person? And more importantly, how have they influenced my relationship with God?
In one way or another, the people we spend time with will influence our habits, interests and attitudes – just to name a few. We must keep in mind that our friends will either lead us closer to God or pull us further away from Him, there is no middle ground.
Personally, I’ve experienced something just like this. A few months ago my friends had plans to hang out… But it turns out it was on a Sunday. I rarely hang out with them and I wanted to catch up with them outside of school, but on Sundays I have church. Even though they knew this, they kept on asking me to come. My friends kept mentioning how “it wouldn’t hurt to miss church just this once”, and slowly I started to think that maybe it was ok for me not to go.
I realised that I was influenced by my friends to not go to church and if this went on, I’d be okay with constantly missing church and I’d lose my personal relationship with God. When I said no to my friends, I knew I was going against them. But going against them made me see that if I didn’t go against them, I was going with them and against God. This also applies to the world: if we aren’t going against the world we are going with the world. And by going with the world, it means that we are going against God. There is no in-between, no grey area.
The scary thing is that our friends can influence us to go against God, to go their way. It says in 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”. Of course, this doesn’t apply literally to just ‘wrathful man’, but this verse reminds us that we easily learn the ways of those around us. The snares of sin that our friends are entangled in, will easily trap us too as we begin to learn their ways. That is why it’s so important that we choose the right friends.
It doesn’t mean that all friendships are bad, and we can’t just ‘socially distance and isolate’ ourselves from the world. Whether or not we want to, we need to face the world and all the influences we face on a daily basis. We must stand firm in the truth. It’s crucial that we know God’s Word, so that we can live in obedience to Him.
longer pause for outtro
Be sure to check our last video where we covered a few general problems we face as teens, and join us in the next video where we’ll discuss the purpose of friendship and fellowship as well as what a good friend is.