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So what kind of friends do you hang around?

Friends are GREAT !

Friends can help you!
Friends can comfort you!
Friends will do the things you like to do.
Friends certainly influence you whether you realize it or not.

Teens, you need to be especially careful when you choose friends, because - friends WILL influence.

Prov. 22:24 & 25, "Make no friendship with an angry man, And with a furious man do not go, Lest you learn his ways And set a snare for your soul."

That's the thing about friends - we learn each other's ways. You pick up each other's habits, and sayings, likes and dislikes. Think of the clothes you wear and the little sayings you have. Think of attitudes and likes and dislikes. Have friends influenced you in any of these areas? Yes, of course they can and do influence you!

That's why it's so important to have godly friends!

You'll develop godly habits by following them and spending time with them. Yet, quite the opposite is true if your friends are ungodly and don't care about pleasing God. Ponder the following truths from our Lord:

1Cor. 15:33, "Do not be deceived: Evil company corrupts good habits."

God's word says - evil friends, ungodly friends will corrupt you. Perhaps, some of you have already experienced this.

Friends have lead you down the wrong path!

Friends have influenced you to do wrong, to Sin!

"But their my best friend" you say!

"But I really like them!"
"But they're really good looking!"

As Christians, your First responsibility is Not to yourself, Not to your Friends, but to God.

Does your Bible say in Mark 12:30 "And you shall love your Friends with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength"?

No! Your FIRST Responsibility is "to love God with all your heart". To love Him, to Serve Him and to follow Him - FIRST. Yes you will love your friends, but God must have the Supreme place in all that you do. Including who you choose as friends!

Have you ever prayed to God,

"Lord, what do you think of my friends? Please lead me toward friends that will encourage me to be closer to You God.

GULP ! AHH, Meeee pray THAT!

You need to choose friends that will lead you CLOSER to God. You may be thinking,

"Whoa, are you saying that my:

rebellious friends...
my friends that run towards and look for sin...
my friends that act

Are you saying these friends are not good for me?

Let's answer that with Scripture:

1Cor. 5:6, "Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?"

What was happening in the Corinthian church? The believers at Corinth thought they were doing pretty well spiritually because they could tolerate sin in their church. Yes, God has called us to "forgive one another". However, God never encourages the believers to except or tolerate out right sin in the "CAMP"! Paul goes on to say in 1Cor. 5 "cast out the leaven."

You all know what leaven or yeast does when it's placed in a ball of dough. It reacts with all the flour and ingredients around it. Just a pinch of yeast will eventually impact the whole ball of dough. In the same way Paul is teaching that a little sin from one person can and will impact others in the group.

There is certainly an issue of personal separation here.

Sinful actions in one often produce sinful actions in others!

God warns us in Prov. 13:20
"He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed."

Christian teen, God has called you to choose your friends wisely.
God has called you to walk godly and keep from sin.

So if your friend is ungodly, if your friend influences you to sin...

You NEED to get away from that friend!

You Need to choose godly friends!

You Need to be with friends that will encourage you toward godliness.

Even if it means having to walk away from ungodly friends.

Friend, these things may be hard to hear at the moment, but you Need to hear them! I've given counsel to people before that were getting involved with the wrong people, but they wouldn't listen to the warnings! They told me "Oh, I'm OK! I'm not going to become like them!"

But that kind of thinking is ignoring the CLEAR teaching from God's Word. God says "a little leaven leavens the whole lump" meaning, the sins of one person WILL impact others. God also warns us that "bad company WILL corrupt your good morals." DON'T ignore God's Word in this area of your life!

Perhaps you're a friend that needs to repent because you've been a poor influence on a Christian brother or sister.

Maybe you need to apologize and ask forgiveness for being an ungodly friend.

It could be that you need to ask forgiveness for leading a friend astray.

maybe it's been a bad attitude...

or perhaps it's been immorality...

It could be your spiritual apathy... your - "I don't care attitude" that's been a bad influence on your friends.

Do the right thing and ask for forgiveness and get back on track spiritually. If you're a Christian teen, you have a responsibility for what you know from God's Word. Be a godly influence on all your friends.

So how do you go about developing godly friendships?

Ben Franklin said, "Be slow in choosing friends..."

That's a wise saying. You need to choose a friend that is Sensitive to sins, their own and yours. If they don't care about their own sins, THEN they're certainly Not going to care about your relationship with God.

Prov. 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

A godly friend is going to warn you when he sees you going astray.

A godly friend will really love you enough to point out your sin.

A godly friend will be concerned about your walk with God.

A godly friend will encourage you to be godly!

A godly friend will encourage you to be faithful to God.

Remember this, your goal as a Christian teenager is to become more and more like Jesus Christ. So choose friends that will help you toward that Goal.

If you need help, talk to your parents and your pastor. In addition, you can ask us for help.