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.
After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:
“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began. “I have revealed youto those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled. “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”