In a spiritually inspiring verse from Proverbs 13:20, for example, we read: "He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm."
Friends are a crucially important part of a fulfilled and happy life for just about anyone at any age, but especially for teenagers and young adults. As much as any other young people, Christian youth seek close social bonds to strengthen their sense of self-worth and belonging. This need for acceptance among peers, while it is generally healthy and beneficial, can have its downsides as well.
The Bible recognizes that our friends can both help us and hurt us. In a spiritually inspiring verse from Proverbs 13:20, for example, we read:
"He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm."
Take these words to heart by making sure that you hang on to your good friends and distance yourself from ones that will only bring you trouble.
Hanging on to Good Friends
A good friend is someone who you can talk to, get along with, and can have a good time with, but someone who will also be there for you when things are hard. A good friend will believe in you, support you, help you achieve your goals, and provide you with words of encouragement when you need them.
If you have friends such as these, then you should hang on to them by making the time to see them and reconnect once in a while, even when your life gets busy. Make sure you let them know how much you appreciate what they add to your life and how much their friendship means to you.
Distancing Yourself from Bad Friends
A bad friend can be hard to spot at first. You may initially like the person because you get along and have fun together. Over time, however, a bad friend will start to put you down, forget about your needs, or pressure you into doing things you do not want to do. If you notice that your friend is starting to make you feel badly about yourself and turning you into a person you don't like, then it is time to end the relationship.
Sometimes all it takes to let a friendship fade is to stop making the effort to talk to or hang out with the person. If, however, they aren't getting the message, then you will need to be honest and direct with them. Make it clear that you do not think the friendship is a good fit for either of you, and that you had be better off going your separate ways.
The Company You Keep
The people we choose to associate with can have an undeniable impact on our lives. Be the kind of person who chooses to "walk with the wise" rather than someone who is a "companion of fools." No matter how strong-minded and independent you feel you are, the company you keep will always have an impact on whether you grow wise or suffer harm. Choose to hang on to your good friends and let go of the bad, and you will have a much easier time becoming the kind of person you want to be.