Who is influencing who?
You are the go-to friend when someone needs help, you pray, fast, and invite them to church etc. You don’t want to give up, but now you find yourself hanging out with that person, pleasing them in small things until you find yourself becoming the old you.
• You visit them for a long period of time
• Sometimes you go off topic and find yourself in gossip
• You are invited to a small gathering and think that by going they too will go to Church with you
• You convince yourself that you are going to a party to purely save souls…
In this case, who is influencing who?
You say you are converted, but you are still loved by your old friends, you please them over and over because you think it’s your duty to be a good samaritan but this doesn’t apply when your salvation is at stake! Usually, when one decides to give their life to Jesus, old friends gradually leave. You don’t want to push them away, you simply discover new goals and interests that clash with the old you. You are still there for them, but you know when to simply say; No thank you. Keep away from people that try to pull you down back to that pit where you have tried so hard to get out of. Now that you are free, don’t look back. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should become prejudice. Jesus wasn’t prejudiced, neither should you.
Perhaps you are now converted and want to build new friends, let us follow Jesus’ example and pray about it first.
Below are a few examples of how to spot a bad friend that can lead you into the following consequences:
• Loss of one’s virtues and principles “You can’t be such a goody-goody…”
• Addictions “Try this, you’ll like it.”
• Inappropriate places and environments “Let’s go, everyone’s going to be there”
• Bad decisions “If I were you, I would…”
• Promiscuity, betrayal “Stop being a prude, live your life…” “The way that he/she treats you, he/she deserves to be cheated on…”
• To feel anger towards the same people “I hate so and so, I don’t know why you like them…”
• Distance you from God “Why go to church, God is everywhere…”
• Marriage and family problems “Let’s go, don’t let your wife/husband/father/ mother boss you around…”
No matter if you say you are not easily influenced, the truth of that matter is friends do. Whether for good or bad, but they do, no matter how strong you think you are. Start a fresh start and weed out friends on Facebook that don’t add value to your spiritual life. Then do the same in your workplace, church, (yes, even church sometimes) and in some cases family members. Friendship is something serious. If you are just coming out of a dark past, choose your friends wisely. Access their character and qualities. Maybe due to bad experiences, you are still learning how to be a good friend yourself or are in a process of building trust.
Remember, choose wisely.