Bad Company Corrupts Good Character (1 Cor. 15:33)

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Friends are great. I happen to believe that I have the very best ones in the entire world. I often find myself just thanking God for those He has placed in my life. I just love the people I’m surrounded by!

It wasn’t always that way though. When I was in High School, I knew that most of the people I was hanging out with were not the best influences… and I personally wasn’t doing much to try and influence them. I would surround myself with people who weren’t helping me grow in my Christian walk, but instead were encouraging me to sin.  While I didn’t take part in what I was thought was wrong; I did begin to have a “what’s the big deal?” mentality. Instead of being a light in the darkness, I was allowing myself to be more shaped BY the world.

How do you feel about the people you spend time with? Are you surrounding yourselves with people who will build you up in the faith, or people who are tearing you down? Our closest friends will either bring wisdom and encouragement, or they will lead you to sin.

The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray. – Proverbs 12:26

Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble. – Proverbs 13:20

A violent person entices their neighbor and leads them down a path that is not good. Proverbs 16:29

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers. – Psalm 1:1

Do not be a friend of one who has a bad temper, and never keep company with a hothead, or you will learn his ways and set a trap for yourself. Proverbs 22:24-25

A violent person entices their neighbor and leads them down a path that is not good. Proverbs 16:29

Now here’s what I’m not saying: I’m not saying to completely block non-Christians out of our lives. I’m a strong believer that forming relationships with unbelievers is incredibly important. Sharing the gospel with anyone – stranger or friend – is powerful and will spark reaction. However, I think, in a majority of cases, it means more to an unbeliever to hear the gospel from someone who has been intentionally loving on them, rather than hearing the gospel from a complete stranger. While we need to exude Christ’s love to everyone, we also need to be sure that our closest friends – the friends we are influenced by – are, in fact, godly influences.

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. – Proverbs 27:17

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. – Proverbs 18:24

Erin
Erin Culleny serves as a Marketing Assistant and Staff Writer. She loves encouraging women through her Victory Calls and finds such joy in praying for her sisters in Christ. She is so excited that after 5 years on Summer Staff, she now has the opportunity to serve at Keswick year-round. Her favorite activities include reading her Bible, encouraging others with scripture, buying new dresses, and eating at the Cheesecake Factory… In that order!

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