When it comes to fashion trends, I am not the one setting them. In fact, I am usually quite late to the scene. I remember back in high school when I thought capri pants were the weirdest style — but eventually (10 years later), I gave in and got a few pairs.
Then there were the skinny jeans. I was convinced I’d never wear such weird fitting pants. Of course, most of my jeans are now “skinny jeans” (which I’ve recently been told are now “out”?!).
I was also determined to never wear tall winter boots, until I did.
After followed my determination to stay away from short boots, which I now love.
No one ever forced me to change my mind on any of the styles, I just slowly got used to them. The people around me wore these trends long enough that they became normal. Basically, the “weird factor” eventually wore off (no pun intended).
But what’s interesting to think about is how this happens to us in the more meaningful matters of life. The fact is, the people we hang around influence us, often without us even knowing it. What our friends do, how they think, who they are, it all eventually becomes “normal”…and in all likelihood we find ourselves becoming a lot like our friends in far more important ways than what we wear.
Our Friends Matter
Proverbs 13:20 says, “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” If we walk with, spend time with, do life with, wise people — we can expect to be impacted in the best way possible. While having foolish companions has no benefit (at best).
In one sense, we totally know this. We all warn teens of the danger of bad friends and peer pressure. But it’s not only true for young people, it’s true for us too. We may not even feel any peer pressure, but that doesn’t mean we are not being influenced by who we spend time with in plenty of more subtle ways.
So the question is, have you picked friends that resemble who you’d like to become?
Far too often we pick friends for far lesser reasons. We want friends who are fun, or we pick friends out of convenience, or maybe they fill a certain void in our life. But with the principle of Proverbs 13:20 in mind, we’d be wise to pick friends, first and foremost, with their godliness in mind!
A Good, But Painful, Test
One of the best ways to determine whether you’ve got good friends, is to think about what you’d feel comfortable doing around them. Specifically, how you’d feel sinning around them.
For example, would you feel comfortable calling up your friend to rag on your husband? Or would you feel totally fine complaining about your life, or gossiping about other people’s business?
You might initially think a true friend would let you be “real” like that — but as a Christian, what you should really want is a friend who’s not going to let you get away with such slanderous, gossippy, negative chatter. You want a friend who will stop you in your tracks and turn you the right direction — because they love you! And because they love you, they want you to live a godly life, and because they want you to live a godly life, they are wiling to do the hard work of being honest and setting you straight when you need it (and of course, a good godly friend hopes you will do the same for them!).
Friends Vs. Friends
Clearly we are going to have all types of people in our life. There are family members we might call friends, there’s neighbors we might call friends, there’s people we’re ministering to that we might call friends. And many of those people will not pass “the test” and they won’t necessarily exemplify the character of who we want to become.
So there’s friends…and then there’s friends! You know what I mean? There’s people that you have a type of friendship with, and then there’s those you really do life with. Those you “walk with” or are “companions” to (Proverbs 13:20). It’s that latter category that we need to really think through. We want to be sure they are godly women who will push us to be more godly women.
So if you haven’t thought through your friendships in the last year or two, now is a good time to reevaluate whether you’re investing into worthwhile friendships you’ll forever be glad you had.
And it is that important — if your friendships impact who you are, you’ll be eternally grateful you chose good godly people to surround yourself with.
Pick some good friends, be a good friend, and make it a priority to invest in your friendships!