Do not be deceived: “For bad company ruins bad morals.”
1 Corinthians 15:33
A while back, I read a blog post entitled It Matters Whom You Marry.
Girls and guys alike – give this one a read. The author gives
many excellent points; ones for young adults especially, but most of them
can be applied by everyone in their daily lives.
Anyway, while I am getting older, I don’t forsee marriage in my near future.
There is something, though, of complete relevance to teenagers that we should all be conscientious of:
I’ll say it over and over again – I have the best friends in the world.
And I’ll bet yours are the best in the world too, right? :)
I think that’s wonderful. Friendships are important!
Like most people, I kind of have my different groups of friends-
school friends, swim friends, theatre friends, and my youth group pals;
and I’m inspired and taught by them all in different ways.
The two girls in the picture above are my two very first best friends – super strong Christian girls.
Not all of my friends are Christians, but the majority are.
Ruling out the non-Christian friendships in my life would be ridiculous;
I’ve benefitted from those friendships as much as my Christian ones.
However, as my faith has taken shape in the past two years,
my friendships have shaped a little as well.
I find it easier to relate to other Christians (we’re ignoring denomination for today),
and most of my best friends are very strong in their Christian beliefs.
The Bible says it plain and clear, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17
A good friendship should be like that iron;
friends should always be working to keep each other sharp.
In a Christian mindset, this means keeping each other focused on Him.
“Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.”
Friends are also responsible for helping you know when you’ve gotten off track-
when you’ve lost sight of The Prize.
It can be tough – I’ve experienced both sides of it –
but a good friend won’t mind because he genuinely cares about your faith.
“A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24
As I said, I am fortunate enough to have many, many good friends.
However, I have just a few really close ones (probably still more than the average person-
and I’m not bragging; I’m rejoicing), ones whom I can really trust.
Putting your whole life in too many friends is almost like giving your heart away;
it can be insincere, even if you don’t mean it to be.
Possibly best of all (and I don’t have a verse for this),
my friends challenge me to be a better Christian.
Being Episcopalian, I actually don’t know that many Bible verses by heart
(we don’t use the Bible in church), and I’m always so impressed
by my friends who do.
My friends are often the ones who (unknowingly) persuade me to use my Bible.
All in all, friendships aren’t perfect.
They never will be.
Heck, Jesus himself certainly didn’t have perfect friendships.
But the best kinds of friendships are the ones which encourage.
They’re the ones which inspire and provoke.
You are often who your friends are – remember that.