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"Do not be misled. Bad company corrupts good character." (I Corinthians 15:33)
They influence your speech, dress, and mannerisms. They are your constant mirrors. They are in your address book and in your phone 's speed dial. They have a firm grip on your heartstrings, and oftentimes they are the difference between success and failure in the Christian life. Good ones can nudge you to victory. Bad ones can drag you to defeat. What are they? You guessed it...friends!
The bottom line is that the type of friends who form your inner circle will most likely determine how faithfully you serve Christ, and whether or not you make a spiritual difference on your campus. When Paul wrote today's verse: "Do not be misled. Bad company corrupts good character " - he was addressing a friendship situation.
The Christians at Corinth had friends who basically denied the resurrection. In other words, their main goal in life was to try and find happiness through partying, because there would be no judgment day. So these believers had friends who were pulling them in the wrong direction. My guess is that those Christians thought that they were strong enough in their faith to resist the bad influences of their friends.
Paul says- I don't think so...
So what about it? Are you being misled? Do you have as your best friends those who have Jesus as their best friend? If not, it's just a matter of time before your character is corrupted with the virus of spiritual compromise.
I can't help but think of Ronnie. We went to school together all through Jr. High and High School. In fact, Ronnie helped lead me to faith in Christ as my Savior. We held each other accountable and witnessed to our unsaved friends. But as high school continued, Ronnie began to make other alliances. More and more of his friends were less and less concerned about Christ. Pretty soon his closest friends were absolutely unconcerned about the Lord, and positively concerned about their own happiness before anything. Bit by bit Ronnie got his eyes off the bull's eye of serving Christ.
There came a time when I had to choose between my friendship with Ronnie, and my allegiance to Christ- and guess what? Rock breaks scissors: Jesus wins. Sound judgmental? Perhaps, but the judgment was more on myself than on Ronnie, because I knew that eventually I would shipwreck my faith if I stayed on course with that friendship. Sound difficult? Absolutely, breaking off a close friendship is like having surgery. Yet if you don't go through with that spiritual operation, you could lose your spiritual life.
By the grace of God, when I graduated my eyes were set on entering the ministry, and today I serve the King of Kings. By the time Ronnie graduated he was just like his closest friends...spiritually weak and disinterested. To this day, 18 years later, Ronnie is totally unconcerned about following Jesus, and completely miserable.
In the words of one pastor: "If you drop a white glove in the mud...the mud doesn't become 'glovey'...the glove becomes muddy." This is especially true in relationships. Christian teens that continue with godless friendships will themselves become godless.
Maybe you need to make some decisions right now about your inner circle of friends. Don't put it off! The whole direction of your spiritual life hangs in the balance...
Dare 2 Share is a church assisting ministry that provides resources for youth leaders and equips teens to relationally and relentlessly reach their generation for Christ. Over 1,400 of these resources are provided completely FREE! D2S also conducts nationwide youth evangelism training conferences. The events are structured for students in junior high and high school, ranging from 12 to 18 years old. Regardless of gender or denomination, D2S teaches from a Christian perspective. D2S is based in Denver, Colorado and has impacted the lives of more than 300,000 teens since 1991.
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