- If I told you that someone was “driving under the influence,” what would I probably mean? (The person is driving while drunk or high.)
- Why is “driving under the influence” a bad idea? Why? (Accept all reasonable answers.)
We all know that driving a car while drunk or high on drugs is really stupid. A person could wreck his or her car, land in jail, or even kill somebody. However, we live our whole lives under the influence of something else that can be dangerous—and we don’t even think about it. What’s influencing us? It’s friendship. Friendships can be dangerous, though they can also keep you safe. It all depends on the friends you choose and how you let them influence you.
- What’s one way that a friendship might be dangerous? (A friend could talk you into making a bad choice, like bullying someone or taking a pointless risk to show off.)
- What’s one way that a friendship might keep you safe? (A friend could help persuade you to make a good choice, like being kind to someone or refusing to engage in risky behaviors.)
Because our friends have so much influence over us, it’s important for us to choose wisely the people we hang out with. People make bad decisions for all sorts of reasons. Maybe we don’t any know better. Maybe we’re in a bad mood. But often, we do dumb things because of what our friends will think. Maybe you think you’re too smart for that, but chances are, you’ve probably made a crummy decision because of peer pressure. All of us have—even adults!
- What are some peer pressures you’ve faced? (Accept all reasonable answers.)
- Why do you think people give in to peer pressure? (We want others to like us.)
The Bible warns us to be careful when we choose our friends. It’s better to avoid temptation in the first place by choosing your friends wisely.
All of us are under the influence of friendship. That influence can be a force for good, or it can be a force for evil. The friendships that do the most good are centered on Jesus. Let’s learn about some of Paul’s relationships that made a major difference for good!