WISE MEN OR FOOLS?
At the start of seventh grade, I moved from California to Houston. As with most moves, it was a challenge. Making new friends and finding one's new normal is never easy. But what is easy is falling into the wrong crowd.
In my quest to fit in and find friends, I started to hang out with the low-lying fruit: the underachievers. The underachievers were not a good influence on me ... or anyone. They did not "waste" time paying attention in class or studying for tests. When it came to school, they were content to ride the "D" train. Furthermore, their afterschool activities were less than commendable and borderline criminal. I was on a bad path following these "friends." Praise God that basketball practice started soon, opening the door to new relationships.
WHO ARE YOU HANGING OUT WITH?
The Bible is very clear about the powerful influence of associations. Paul said, "Do not be deceived: Bad company corrupts good morals" (1 Corinthians 15:33). A book I am currently reading puts it this way, "Watch out who you hang out with ... because stupid rubs off."
Do you remember the popular novelty tee shirt, "I'm with stupid"? Lots of people donned that tee shirt as a playful slam on their friends. But, the reality is if you are hanging out with stupid, it won't be long before you are stupid, too. That's just the way life works.
The good news is found in the positive aspect of right associations. You see, if stupid rubs off, and it does, then so does wisdom. If you walk with wise men, you will become wise. If you hang out with good company, your morals will get a needed shot in the arm!
FRIEND ASSESSMENT AND FRIEND ADJUSTMENT
When I came to Christ as a 17-year-old high school senior, I knew I needed to make new friends in order to grow in my relationship with Jesus. All my old friends were great guys, but they had been my drinking and carousing buddies. If I kept hanging out with them on the weekends, I would never break free from the hedonistic lifestyle I had grown accustomed to experiencing.
Needless to say, the transition was not easy. During my first year as a Christian, I endured some lonely times, especially lonely weekends. Yet, God blessed me for honoring him. As new godly friendships were formed, I began to grow in my faith. Note: I never abandoned my old friends. I cared about them and witnessed to them. I was just careful concerning where I went with them. Friday and Saturday nights were off limits. Thankfully, God used my witness to bring a number of my old friends to a saving knowledge of Jesus.
How about your friends? Are they people who draw you closer to Jesus or closer to carnality? Are they making you wiser and more godly or more foolish and worldly? Do yourself a favor, and prayerfully find some friends who are seeking first the kingdom of God. "Where are those people," you ask? You can find them as you get involved in a solid, Bible-believing church.
Who you hang out with really, really matters. Stupid does rub off ... and so does wisdom.
Pastor Jeff Schreve,
From His Heart Ministries
P.S. I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Direct questions and comments to [email protected].
Dr. Jeff Schreve believes that no matter how badly you may have messed up in life, God still loves you and has a wonderful plan just for you. From His Heart provides real truth, love and hope on over 700 radio stations each day, in 149 countries each week on TV, and is always available online. Pastor Jeff takes no income from this ministry. All donations go to furthering the broadcast outreach. As a listener/viewer supported ministry, we thank you for joining with us to help speak the truth in love to a lost and hurting world. Go to www.fromhisheart.org for more information.
Beauty for Ashes: The Story of Ruth
Has life dealt you a bad hand? Have fiery trials engulfed you, leaving nothing but ashes? To be sure, difficulties come to every life in varying degrees, but the good news is God is the God who gives "beauty for ashes" (Isaiah 61:3 KJV). In this new verse-by-verse study of The Book of Ruth, Dr. Jeff Schreve shares biblical truth to help you trust God and see Him work, even in the midst of heartache and heartbreak.