by Chris Shook and Megan Shook Alpha
“Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’” 1 Corinthians 15:33 (NIV)
In this hurting world we live in, it’s vital to surround ourselves with friends who will stand in the struggle with us and build us up in the battle. We have to choose our friends wisely because, whether we want to or not, we will become like the people we hang around.Over the years, we have talked with many girls and women who struggle with choosing their relationships. They have finally realized that their friends or boyfriends do not treat them well, which is an accomplishment in itself, but they feel as if they are trapped and have no alternative but to stay in a relationship with these people. The truth is that people do have a choice! Crazy, I know, but we actually get to choose our friends! So, choose wisely.
When I started my freshman year of college, I didn’t know anyone. I felt totally out of the loop, as if I was never going to find a close group of friends. It was awful. But, I felt God telling me that, if I would just wait, He would bring the right people into my life at the right time. So, while everyone else around me seemed to have found their lifelong friends, I patiently waited for mine. Was it easy? Not at all. I hated it actually. But, was it worth it? More than anything! It was worth being lonely for a semester to receive those beautiful friends. If you are a student changing schools or going off to college, it’s tempting to rush into the first group you find; none of us want to feel awkward or unwanted. But, I want to encourage you to wait on God. Hold out for the friendships that He has selected for you. When you surround yourself with positive, godly friends, you’ll start reflecting Christ’s love.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when choosing your friends:
- Do they make you feel loved and important?
- Do they encourage you?
- Do they put you down?
- Do they pressure you into things?
- Do they talk about you behind your back?
- Do they stick with you in the hard times?
- Are they involved in church, and do they have a relationship with God?
- Is being popular important to them?
- Are they involved in partying, drugs, or sex outside of marriage?
Asking yourself these questions can help you see if your relationships with your friends need to change. You don’t have a choice of parents or family, but you can choose your friends. This might be the right time for you to make a bold choice and change your relationships. If you are struggling to know the right thing to do, then spend some time with God, and ask Him for direction. When we spend time with God by reading the Bible, praying, and talking to Him, we become more like Him, and He will guide us every step of the way.
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