“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).

reflect

You’ve probably heard the story of the boiling frog: If you place a frog in a pot of boiling water, he’ll jump out immediately, but if you place a frog in a pot of cold water and very gradually heat the water to boiling, the frog will not notice the change in temperature and be boiled to death.

Scientists debate whether this is a true phenomenon—experiments often prove inconclusive—but in any case, the story serves as a good metaphor for our walk with Christ.

We might hop into situations or relationships that seem harmless at first, but they gradually lead us down the wrong path—and before we know it, we’re boiled. Maybe it’s a job or hobby that gradually consumes all our time—every waking thought. Or maybe it’s a friend who gradually influences us to do, say or think things that don’t honor God.

First Corinthians 15:33 says, “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’”

The idioms are true: Birds of a feather flock together, and one bad apple spoils the whole bunch.

When choosing close friends, find Godly influencers.

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17).

In the same way, we should check our own behaviors and actions to make sure they aren’t negatively affecting those around us. Are you the friend you would want to have?

“Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister” (Romans 14:13).

react

> Have you ever been negatively affected by a friendship?

> What is the best way to form Godly friendships?

> What kind of friend do you think you are?