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Seeking Him First 2: Who’s in Our Circle?

Seeking Him First Day 2 – Who’s in Our Circle?

Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” (1 Corinthians 15:33, ESV)

Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. (Proverbs 13:20, ESV)

One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor, but the way of the wicked leads them astray. (Proverbs 12:26, ESV)

It started with a bad friend choice. Still young and naïve, he didn’t believe family members who warned him that this friend seemed manipulative and controlling. As he spent more time with him, he soon discovered his new friend was an addict, and in time, he too was lured into the dangerous world of drug use, draining his savings and alienating him from family. It’s a story that plays out day after day and often ends in heartbreaking tragedy.

While the scenario above is an extreme example of how important it is to maintain a healthy circle of friends, all of us have experienced something along these lines in some form or another—the friend with a potty mouth that makes you feel it’s okay to use similar language; the friend who always gossips about others and draws you into the conversation; the friend who encourages you to join them on an adventure that costs more than you can afford; the friend who drinks too much; the married friend who thinks a little flirting is a fun game to play.

The truth is that we all have friends who easily influence our thinking and behavior. And while family is family, they are also key contributors to how we think and act. Please give a few minutes to this question: Who are the top 5 people you spend the most time with? Now, think of some ways in which they either bring out the best in you or possibly influence you negatively. Does someone come to mind that encourages you to compromise Christian values or question biblical doctrine? If so, how much of your time are you devoting to someone who may be poorly influencing your behavior as a Christ follower?

One of the best things you can do to preserve your Christian testimony is to surround yourself with people who embrace godly values. These are people who will direct you in paths that are good for you spiritually. They won’t pull you away from time with God, church activities, or time with your Christian friends. They will encourage you in your relationship or marriage, offer biblical advice in parenting, be the shoulder to lean on when life gets difficult, and pray for you. What a gift that is! They won’t pressure you to do things that aren’t best for you, and they share your faith and encourage you in maturing in Christ.  Look for these qualities in those who are in your closest circle of friends—the ones you spend most of your time with.

Scripture is clear that wisdom is gained by spending time with wise people, which makes a lot of sense. None of us really aims to be a fool, so why spend time with people who encourage or influence us to do foolish things? Yesterday we discussed time management and how important it is to make ourselves available to spend more time with God. How much better it is when we have friends who encourage us to do the same. As we read in God’s Word, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17). 

May we be willing to take a closer look at our current circle of friends and be willing to make any necessary changes. As God’s people, we want a friend group that accurately reflects Him and motivates us to live out an honorable Christian testimony. Anyone who pulls us from our being our spiritual best is not a good candidate for our close circle of friends. Being willing to walk away will take courage and should be done in a kind and compassionate way. But preserving ourselves from falling and failing is why it’s so necessary. We have one life to live—only one testimony to reflect Christ. How are you doing?

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