Are your friends messing up your relationship with Jesus? (Proverbs 2:12-22)

Fifteen years in the ministry has taught me that bad company corrupts good character (1 Corinthians 15:33). Who we choose to associate ourselves with will either help us or hurts us in our quest to become the people that Jesus desires us to be. Wisdom tells us that our friends and associations might serve to mess up our relationship with Jesus!

When I was a teenager, I heard all the youth talks about avoiding the druggies, the sexually immoral, or the “bad kids” who used a lot of foul language and listened to Slayer and Metallica. As I’ve grown up, however, I’ve learned that negative influences are much more subtle and much more powerful.

Proverbs 2 shows us a few of these categories:

“Men of perverted speech”: Who are these people? These are the folks who live a lifestyle that is different from what the Bible teaches. They could be your neighbor, coworker, or even that nice family man who sits in the pew in front of you during Sunday service.

We need to be careful who we call “friend.” We live in a fallen society with little regard for godly principles and values, who views sin as a normal and legitimate practice. Such people do not measure their lives by the consequences of sin, but rather acts in a manner that justifies the actions of doing and thinking what he wants.

The wiser we get, the more we understand how important it is to associate with people who share our same aspirations, goals, and desires. One can summarize it by saying that we value all people, we love all people, but should use our limited time to create friendships with people who will help propel me to a greater relationship with Jesus.

We are missionaries to our culture!

“The forbidden woman”: Sexual purity is one of the most common failings in our culture today. It’s normal practice to have sex outside of marriage, to engage in all types of sexual behaviors, and to revel in our sexuality in ways that were not intended by God. For example, pornography is a growing epidemic in our society, replacing true godly intimacy with a cheap lustful copy (see http://bit.ly/nPURT0).

Sex is an awesome thing! No sane Christian would ever tell you differently. (I laugh when Christian couples, who have been married for years and have lots of kids, act as though they have never committed the egregious sin of having sex as a married couple!). The Bible clearly states that God created sex and that he wanted us to be fruitful and multiply!

The problem is the perversion of sex. It’s the inability to enjoy your spouse sexually because you have this catalog of past sexual partners to compare with. Its dissatisfaction you experience as you’re with your partner because of the millions of pornographic images that run through your head and fuel your desire. It the heartbreak that so many experience when you give yourself, body and soul, to another person, only to break up and then have to start the whole process over.

Be wise… avoid all of it!

God wants you enjoy sex the right way. If you’ve been sexually promiscuous, ask God to heal your heart and save yourself for the special person that is going to come your way. God isn’t mad at you; he wants to restore you to enjoy the rest of your life! If you’re addicted to pornography or have found yourself in adultery or close to it, GET HELP NOW! Ask God, your pastor, your wife, and whoever else you have to in order to overcome that temptation and become the person that God wants you to be.

No one wants to be miserable in their marriage. Especially because of sexual reasons…

The truth is that no one just falls into sexual immorality. It is an amalgam of different passions and influences which take hold and break our faithfulness to God. Whether it be societal factors, the influences of pornography, or just our own desire, we make a grave mistake by letting our

In closing, Proverbs 2:21 states: “For the upright will inhabit the land, and those with integrity will remain in it.” Find yourself good friends. Find good company. Don’t allow outside influences to damage you and your walk with God. Cut off those people who, whether intentionally or not, are damaging your spirituality.

The wise not only walk with God, but they find others who seek godly wisdom as well!