Breaking Bonds

At some time in our lives most of us have had a bad friend. A friend who, for some reason or another, we believed supported us and our ideals. In reality, that friend just wanted someone who would make it seem like they were not alone in their bad behavior. These friends cause us to question our moral values and to stray from our personal relationship with God.

Many times our friends influence our decisions. In high school, it seems as though they influence most of our decisions. Everyone wants their friends to like and support what they do or how they act. But what if our friend is pressuring us to act in a way we know is inappropriate as a Christian? How do we remove that influence from our lives?

Even for people who are not Christians, peer pressure is the number one reason given for doing something they know is wrong. So when you tell people you are a Christian, it is as if you are automatically a target for even more peer pressure. Many people want to see a Christian stumble so that it will make what they do seem okay.

In order to prevent ourselves from stumbling we have to remove bad influences from our lives. Sometimes this means giving up a friendship that we have had for a long time. Summer may be the easiest time to start this process. Since school is out and you will not be seeing those people everyday, you may choose to use your summer to start your social life all over again.

The first step is to keep busy. There is this well-said saying, “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” I used to hear it everyday when I was growing up. I hated doing chores and wanted nothing more than to hang out with my friends. But, when asked what we would be doing, I couldn’t give an answer, because we didn’t really know yet. Then I would hear the saying and cringe. I just wanted to fit in. Didn’t my mom understand that? Of course she did. That is why I was not allowed to go unless I could answer the question. She knew that if we really had nothing to do, then that nothing would turn into nothing good.

Volunteer at your local nursing home, hospital, or a shelter for the summer. It looks great on school transcripts and resumes, and you get a good feeling when you help others voluntarily. Aside from that, you will also have a good excuse for why you cannot hang out with that friend who brings you down. You could get a job for the summer, visit people at church, or get involved in your youth group. Do anything to keep yourself from getting involved with someone who is going to pull you away from God. James 4:4 tells us, “…whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”

You may also need to seek the help of family. This includes your Christian family. Sometimes removing a bad influence takes more than just you. Sometimes our guard can drop and we can be tempted to return to our old ways. This is where family comes in. They will show you support and remind you why you were changing your life around.

Removing negative influences takes time. Filling your time with other things is good, but doing it for a week or two is not going to stop that influence from creeping back up. The full summer would give you enough of a break that you may be able to stay away from the problem for good. When you go back to school, you may still have to face that “friend.” But now when you face them, you may have a different perspective and not be so willing to follow them. Maybe this time, you can lead.

By Sarah Ancheta


  1. thanks for the info!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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