Friends Influence…For Good or Bad
Show me your friends; I’ll show you your future is not just a cute saying.
Peer pressure, for better or for worse is a real thing.
Show me the people that you hang out with and five years down the road,
I can probably show you what you’ll probably believe and how you’ll probably behave.
If we care about our future, we must care who our friends are.
As we look back on our lives, we know how true the phrase is: show me your friends and I’ll show you your future. I bet some of the best things you’ve done and some of the worst choices you made you haven’t done by yourself; they happened because of friends.
Some of the stuff you regret the most didn’t happen in a room by yourself.
Some of the stuff in life that you wish you could rewind was because there were people in your life you were trying to impress.
It’s not that we can’t sin as a solo but so often sin happens as a duet, as a quartet, or as an ensemble.
On the other hand, I bet some of the best things that have happened in your life happened because of good friends.
I know for a fact that some of you heard about God’s grace because of a friend.
How many of us realize we would not be the people that we are if it wasn’t for some really amazing friends who affected our future?
We found out that there’s a God who forgives and a God who declares us as His people despite our imperfections.
We heard of God’s mercy being extended with each new day, and how shame, guilt and regret can be exchanged for freedom and joy.
This topic of friends is not just good for kids who are in the formative years of learning. It’s true for all of us today.
What we believe today no matter our age will turn around and cause us to behave and be shaped for the next six months to a year from now.
The Bible says that we should pursue as fast as we can friends who love God. If you find a person who loves the law of God, hang onto that friendship with everything you have.
We need people in our corner like the writer of Psalm 119. Ever read that in your Bible before?
It’s famous for being the longest chapter in the entire Bible; 176 verses.
And do you know who it was written by? Someone who loved the law of God.
One could have cut it off after verse five because it just says the same thing again and again and again; someone who’s gushing about God because they actually believe that if God is good, if he’s a good, good father and he wants what’s best for you, then what he says about money and about forgiveness and about sex and about gender, what he says about marriage and divorce, it’s not just officially right, it’s good and it’s beautiful. And it’s beneficial.
Let’s look at the words of Proverbs 27 and see how a friend can do something beautiful for us.
It says, “The wounds from a friend can be trusted.”
Did you hear that a friend who loves God and who loves us can actually lovingly wound us. I heard that.
In other words, we welcome hard conversations, and not because we want them to be judgmental or close-minded with us, but because we actually want to know what they see of how we are missing out on the best life possible.
So here’s my challenge for you today: This week, would you reach out to one friend and ask them to wound you? It’s probably the most terrifying thing to say yes to but a good decision.
Find someone you know loves you. I mean, they’re not just a critic; they don’t just want to blast you to pieces.
They actually care about you and your future. And would you just ask them to be honest? Ask them to tell you what they see in your character, in your words, in your attitude.
Trusted friends speak the truth in love because they really do care about us and our potential.