Walk with the Wise
Who you hang out with the most often will determine the direction of your life. Are the people you hang with fostering the growth of the fruits of the Spirit in your life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control? Are they helping you move toward God and his wise paths? Or are they leading down a different path? They may even be good people, but it necessarily fostering godly living. I remember my first girlfriend in college. She was a very nice person, but she was not a Christian. And while I was dating her I stopped hanging out with my Christian friends, and going to worship as often. I was basically off grid with my faith. Fortunately, the relationship ended before it went too far and I returned to my Christian posse, but looking back, I realized that relationship was taking me away from my faith, not fostering it. For the rest of my college career I was closely connected to my Christian friends and even started dating a young woman from our campus ministry who would become my wife, and the greatest encourager of my faith. She literally spurs me on to love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24) by her words and actions . Consider who you surround yourself with and which direction they are guiding you (whether they realize it or not). Are they spurring you on to love and good deeds? While we should love everyone and be a witness for Christ to those around us, including friends who are not Christian, our inner circle, those closest to us and influence us the most, should be pulling us together in God’s. Fortunately, we can choose our friends, or at least which friends we will hang out with most often. It’s not always easy to distance ourselves from relationships that are not moving us in a wise direction , but we can do it by God’s grace and strength. We can trust that God will give us relationships that honor and glorify him.
As parents are we praying for and influencing our kids toward healthy friends because, other than us, friends will make the biggest difference in guiding their lives.