Devotionals & ArticlesTeen Quiet Times

Choosing Your Friends Wisely

By: Victor Richman

THE STRUGGLE:

Part of being a Jesus follower is standing out, and I completely dropped the ball in my first couple years of high school. Going into high school I decided that it was more important to be liked by peers than to be pleasing to God. I changed my mentality from God-fearer to people-pleaser so that I could gain popularity and a sense of acceptance. There’s a scripture that describes my situation to perfection,

1 Corinthians 15:33: “Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”

My “good character” quickly fell on his face after just a few weeks of hanging with the wrong people.

I picked up new bad habits like cursing and vaping which distracted me from the important things in life like, “Working with all your heart, as if working for the Lord” (Colossians3:23). I allowed my grades to slip in order to bring smiles and laughs to peoples’ faces. I was okay with receiving a C- on report cards and I stopped caring about my GPA. The bad company was truly corrupting good character and unfortunately I fulfilled the scripture. Thankfully God is always right there waiting to greet you when you come near to him.

THE SOLUTION:

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2.

I heard the scripture in a teen camp lesson and realized that it was speaking to me. I saw myself conforming to the pattern of this world and being pulled further and further away from God. I decided that I needed a reset and after a couple years I decided to start making a couple changes in my life. I decided to befriend people who would not pull me away from the light but towards it…

THE CHALLENGE:

One thing that I learned recently is that there’s no such thing as neutral influence.

People are either influencing you in a good way or bad way, there is no in between. Likewise you can influence people in a good way or bad way and one thing I suggest as a challenge is to try and influence the people around you in a good way. Another practical challenge that may seem really difficult is to usher out the bad and bring in the new. By that I mean cut out people who are going to damage your walk with God and put yourself around people who will help you grow closer to our Father. This will really help you in the long run and it will make life so much better for you and the people around you.

THE PRAYER:

Lord, I thank you that you transform us, day by day, by the renewing of our minds. I ask that you help me, as I begin this new school year, to choose friends that will influence me for good, and help me also to influence others for their good. Give me the courage to start new relationships if I need to, and end relationships that are keeping me far from you. Help me to

bring good to those around me and to be a God-fearer more than a people-pleaser. I need your spirit to help me with this; I can’t do it alone. I’m seeking you, Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


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Wanda Roman
Wanda Roman
1 month ago

Wow! I appreciate your vulnerability. Thanks for sharing. I’m not a teen but any disciple can apply this lesson on choosing friends wisely.