There are many people tugging at us, urging us to do what is good or tempting us to evil. Few influences are greater than that of our friends.
At school we have opportunities to make friends that may have a great influence on our lives. Continual association with others effects us for good or ill and the decisions we make influence others. Consider these effects friends can have on us.
“He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed,” Proverbs 13:20
“Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits,” 1 Corinthians 15:33.
If one wants to be wise, it is better to have friends who love wisdom. If your friends make wise decisions based on Bible teaching and act responsible, you are less likely to get involved in activities or pick up behaviors that displease God. If you want to make good decisions, do not choose friends who do not care whether God is happy or disappointed with their decisions or who care little about the consequences of their actions. Continual friendship with people who do not think about how their decisions might cause trouble or hurt others leads one to make foolish decisions that can limit one’s future chances and take them away from God’s company.
I had a high school friend who was quiet and very responsible. In Boy Scouts he was a Patrol Leader and in school he was a good student. In our junior year he began hanging around with boys who often skipped classes and cared little about preparing for their future. They often wasted time in troublemaking until one night when it went to far. They broke into the school to steal some sound system equipment. The police chased them along the long drive leaving the school. They threw the sound equipment from the back of the truck—which damaged it—but the policemen caught them. Since my friend had not been in trouble with the police before, they allowed him to move to Florida to live with his father. This was a big change for him but it forced him to find new friends since he would no longer be able to hang around with his friends. He knew his problems started with a poor choice of friends.
Choose your friends with care. Choose friends that will build you up, not tear you down.
“Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of evil. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn away from it and pass on. For they do not sleep unless they have done evil; and their sleep is taken away unless they make someone fall. For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence. But the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day. The way of the wicked is like darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble. “Proverbs 4:13-19.