I try to be a good Christian, and I suppose people who don't know me very well would say I am. But when I get around some of my old friends I forget all about Jesus and my behavior changes. What's wrong with me? God must be very disappointed in me. — J.K.
Do you remember Simon Peter in the New Testament? He was one of Jesus' closest disciples, and when Jesus predicted that Peter would deny Him, Peter boldly replied, "Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you" (Mark 14:31).
But when Jesus was arrested, Peter found himself surrounded by a group of strangers - and when some of them asked if he too was one of Jesus' followers, he vehemently denied it - not once, but three times. And yet Jesus forgave him, and Peter went on to become a strong witness for the Gospel. I pray this will be your experience.
Have you ever asked yourself why your old friends have so much influence over you? The reason, I suspect, is because you don't want them to reject you. Instead you want them to accept you - and the easiest way to do that is to act the same way they do. But the Bible warns, "Do not be misled: 'Bad company corrupts good character'" (1 Corinthians 15:33).
The real question is this: What place does Jesus Christ have in your life? Is His approval more important to you than that of your friends? Make sure of your commitment to Christ. Remember: He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. Keep your eyes on Christ, and let your friends know that you now belong to Him - even if it means risking their rejection.