Todd Johnson

Family Pastor

I Corinthians 15:33

“Do not be deceived: Bad company ruins good morals.”

You might have read the verse and thought that sure is a short and random verse that Pastor Todd chose for this week’s devotion. Well, I agree with those thoughts, but it is something that the Lord pointed out to me recently and I wanted to share it with you as well as why I selected this verse. As a father of two boys, 20 and 16, I have learned that the friends they choose have a HUGE influence on their lives. I believe that middle school is a pivotal time where our kids will develop friendships that will stay with them through at least the end of high school. Parents, we need to be praying for our children’s choices of friends!

We moved here when my oldest was starting 8th grade and it was rough. He was mad at us for moving plus middle school is an awkward time for many kids. He started hanging with the wrong kids that he was easily influenced by to make poor choices. When he had the opportunity to apply for an academy that would allow him to attend a different high school, he jumped on it. Bethany and I remember vividly when he told us, “If I stay where I am, I am going to become someone that I am not going to like.” That was some strong discernment from a 14-year-old. He did change schools and made better choices of his friends that helped him stay on the narrow path of following Christ.

This verse is true for us at any stage of life. Who are your closest friends? Do they push you toward Christ or away from Him? The Bible is clear that we are to marry someone who shares in our love for Jesus and wants to have a Christ-centered marriage. I believe that our close friends should also be someone that we are equally yoked with. I am not saying you can’t have good friends who aren’t believers, I am just encouraging you to surround yourself with friends who will build you up and point you to Jesus. Make sure you are connecting with other believers by getting involved in a family group at church. My closest friends are men who live life with me even from a distance, they pray with me and ask me the hard questions about life. They make me want to be a godly man. Find those friendships and hold on tight to them. They are a true blessing.