Steer Clear of Negative Influences

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Proverbs 22:24 Don’t make friends with people who have hot, violent tempers. 25 You might learn their habits and not be able to change. (GNT).


This makes sense. If you get in with some ego tripping people who think its okay to throw a couple punches at a bar, you’re just gonna end up in trouble eventually. Anger isn’t always a sin, but it commonly is. I think this phrase lends itself to other habits we should not learn. Lets look at a common sin,”Cursing and perverted jokes.” It seems like everywhere you go, someone thinks they’re witty for using a double entendre on something base and disgusting. Every time someone does this they fill your mind with garbage when we should be focusing on the opposite.


Philippians 4:8 In conclusion, my friends, fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable. (GNT).


So maybe it is good to turn off the TV if they’re not showing wholesome material. It is okay to not make friends with people who not only can’t get their minds out of the gutter, but they try and drag you in there too. I know a lot of people like to say that Jesus sat down with sinners, and that is true. But that is no excuse to also engage in the sinful activities yourself.


This whole idea takes a level of reflection that requires maturity. Kids rarely ever realize that they impact themselves by the friends they choose.


I’ve been through the gutter, and I’m quite witty. I find myself thinking up the bad jokes from time to time. Then I try and deflect my thoughts so I don’t visualize the cursing. You know quite often people who curse don’t really focus on what they’re saying, but just use curse words for emphasis. But some people think of the things they say and it isn’t good for visualizing ugly words.
If I can’t redirect my thoughts from ugly phrases, I tell God,”I take that thought captive by Jesus Christ.” I learned this from my friend Victor Nunez. Or the classic,”I love good. I hate evil.” which is telling God that you reject ugly thoughts. Again, we’re supposed to be focused on what is pure and lovely and not that which is corrupt and ugly.


God can purify a corrupt mind and heart, but it takes a lot of work and restoration. It is better to not be corrupted to begin with. Young people, take this to consideration. Guarding yourself from corruption is a virtue. It is so hard in today’s day and age where you’re assailed by movies and TV in a race to the bottom.


Some jokes aren’t funny except by how totally wrong and shocking they are. This is how South Park rolled. Now so many competitors are trying the same. Not getting shocked anymore is a form of desensitization and is something to lament. It seems like TV has no morals in what they play anymore as they try to shock an increasingly desensitized culture.


Again, it takes a level of maturity and stepping outside yourself to evaluate this type of stuff. Pick your friends wisely. A good Christian friend will sharpen you as iron sharpens iron. A guy who just likes being rowdy at bars and starting trouble…. will get you in trouble. It is better to not have a friend at all than one who will lead you to sin.


Proverbs 27:17 People learn from one another, just as iron sharpens iron. (GNT).


Proverbs 11:27 If your goals are good, you will be respected, but if you are looking for trouble, that is what you will get. (GNT).
My prayer is that you have faith in Jesus, make good friends, avoid corruption, and get a purification of your heart and mind if needed.


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