Sunday, November 26, 2017

What About Your Friends?

There’s an old saying, “Birds of a feather flock together.” The people we associate with can deeply influence our lives. 

As a boy, I had decided to stay away from alcoholic beverages. But during my late teens, many friends of mine and co-workers were into drinking beer. Wanting to have fun with them, I started going to parties and nightclubs. Gradually I fell into a lifestyle of sin. 1 Corinthians 15:33 says, “Do not be deceived; evil company corrupts good habits.” By the time I committed my life to the Lord, many of my drinking buddies didn’t want to hang with me anymore.

I’ve also noticed God will allow certain relationships with other Christians to end. This is so He can connect you with like-minded believers who will encourage you in your calling. Once I had a blind friend who didn’t believe it was God’s will to heal everyone. I shared Scripture proving otherwise since I wanted my friend to receive his sight. This man wouldn’t accept the truth and one day announced he didn’t want to be my friend anymore. I decided to strike back at the devil by going out witnessing that night. My former friend who rejected me was quickly replaced by many friendships made through my church’s evangelism ministry.

While God desires unity within the body of Christ, we need to be cautious being with some church-going people. Not everyone claiming to be a Christian is serious about becoming a disciple of Jesus. 1 Corinthians 5:11 (NLT) instructs us, “…not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people.”

Another minister made this powerful statement, “Show me your friends and I will show you your future.” Think about the people you pal around with. Do they inspire you to go after God or the things of this world? Do your friends respect and honor you or constantly violate your boundaries? One thing I often pray is “Lord, bring the right people across my path and keep me away from the wrong people.” This prevents a lot of bad relationships from developing.

Good friends bring out the best in each other. What about your friends?

“There are ‘friends’ who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.” - Proverbs 18:24 (NLT)

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