Are you influenced by your friends? Or are you influenced by scripture?
The former makes us feel better, because our sinful nature loves to be accepted by others, and the pack mentality takes over. The latter will often make us unpopular and hated by many, and cause us to stand alone, but consider this:
How many times have you questioned a decision that you made by following others? (In my case MANY)
And how many times have you questioned a decision that you made to follow what scripture says? (In my case zero)
1 Corinthians 15:33 says “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.”
We cannot hang around with the world and not be influenced by it. If you abide near sin, it will eventually beat you down and change you.
2 Corinthians 6:14 says “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?”
Can we communicate with unbelievers? of course. We should try to point everyone toward Christ, but when we spend much of our time with sinners watching them sin, ultimately the sin will influence us and pull us in. If we say that we will just watch, and never take part, we are deceiving ourselves. Solomon who was known as the wisest man that ever lived thought that he could do this, but scripture says in 1 Kings 11:4 “For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father.”
So even the wisest man that ever lived could not be around unbelievers, living in their sin, and stay true to God. We are wholly influenced by what we spend our time doing. Do you spend your time following scripture and seeing what God says about things? Or do you spend your time following friends and seeing what they say about things? Following friends will cause us to fall repeatedly. Following scripture will not only keep us from falling, it could also keep our friends from stumbling who are influenced by us. Every person in the world is influenced by something, so let’s focus on the Influence who never fails. If we can be an influence to anyone, let’s make it an influence of following God.
John 8:12 “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”