Your friends could destroy you, especially in your youth. In one’s late teenage years, the power and impact of your friends is profound. Friends have more influence over you than parents, teachers, pastors etc. Youngsters may say something like ” But I do not let my friends influence me”. The Bible says you are very possibly deceived. Not only do your friends influence you to a huge degree, bad company corrupts moral character.
I Corinthians 15:33
Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals”
Paul probably quotes here from Menander’s comedy Thais in most likelihood. Having two children myself, one now 21 and the other nearly 19, I have had first hand experience of watching the power of friends in the late teen years. The desire to be with, to please and to keep company with friends is powerful. Children of this age can also spend an inordinate amount of time with their boyfriend or girlfriend, even though it is almost certainly too young to begin thinking about a marriage partner. It all comes down to the company we keep. The people we hang around with, will tell someone a lot about you and your character.
I remember when my son befriended a youngster from our neighbourhood whom we just could not stand. It was not the boy we disliked, but it was the way it changed my son’s behaviour when they were together. We really had to pray that friendship to an end, and we eve went further than that. After this boy stole stuff from our home (and it was my son who discovered it), we banned the boy from coming to our house. It was the first and last time we ever did this, but we look back with no regrets. We did not BAN my son from seeing his friend, but we strongly discouraged the friendship. Ask any parent what fears they have with regards the growing up of their children and almost all of them will tell you, the fear of their kids falling in with the wrong group of friends.
Jesus disciples were known by the company they kept. They hung around with Jesus and there was no doubt about their loyalty and their testimony. Judas could not stay for too long with that group before he betrayed Jesus because his heart was not in the right place. My question to you is this: if Jesus was to look at the way your friends behave (the people you hang around with a lot of the time), would you be sure that He would highly approve? If there is no hesitation and you answered YES positive, then fantastic. If you had to think about it and wonder about some of your friends, there is your answer.
The Bible says – in other words God says: Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals”