It’s been said that you become like those you hang out with and that you are the average of the five people you hang out with the most. When you’re growing up, your friends are pretty much chosen for you. They’re limited to kids in your neighborhood or in your class. As you get older, you get to choose the people you have around you. It often depends on where you choose to go or hang out. I’ve had friends in my life who have encouraged me to do some pretty stupid things (and I’ve done them). I’ve also had friends who encouraged me to try some pretty amazing things (and I’ve done those too). Our friends affect our beliefs, our actions and our life.
In Matthew 9, when Jesus had crossed the Sea of Galilee and arrived in Capernaum, a group of people met Him. They had a friend on a stretcher who was paralyzed. Verse 2 says that when Jesus saw how much faith these people had, he told the person on the stretcher to take courage. He then forgave that person’s sins. The religious people flipped out and Jesus asked them which was easier, to forgive sins or to heal someone. Both were impossible for man, but possible for God. He then told the paralyzed person to get up and walk. The man stood up and walked away with his friends. It never mentioned his faith though, only the faith of his friends.
Proverbs 12:26 says, “The righteous person is a guide to his friend, but the path of the wicked leads them astray” (GNT). We are all guiding others around us, and we are being guided by them too. When your faith is low and you need God’s help, will the people around you carry you to Him and believe for you when you can’t? If not, it’s time to find new people because we all face times when our strength and hope are gone. The people we surround ourselves with will either guide us to God or lead us astray. It’s important that we also look in the mirror. Are you the type of friend who would get a stretcher and carry a friend to Jesus when they can’t? God doesn’t just rely on our faith and trust in Him when we need help. He looks at the Faith of the people around us who are praying too.
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