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Man Code entries are designed for parents or adults seeking to grow young boys into strong Christian men. Previous entries can be found here.

“Walk with the wise and become wise,
    for a companion of fools suffers harm.” Proverbs 13:20

You don’t have as much control over the direction of your life as you might think you do. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “I’m my own person, I can do whatever you want!” And you’re right, you can do whatever you want. But I know what you’ll end up doing: whatever your friends decide to do. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing to have friends. We all need people to do life with. But your friends have an influence over you greater than you realize. Their language becomes your language, they way they dress becomes how you dress, the music they listen to becomes your music, their actions become your actions. Because your friends are such a strong influence in your life, you don’t have as much control over the direction of your life as you think you do. Your friends determine the direction of your life.

When King Solomon wrote to his son that if you walk with the wise you’ll become wise, he knew that if you surround yourself with smart people, you end up making smarter decisions. But if you are surrounded by fools, you’ll end up hurting yourself. No one intentionally goes out to hurt themselves, but when you’re with your friends, you want to be accepted by them. You want to be a part of their group. That’s natural. So, to be accepted, you’ll look like them, talk like them, dress like them, even act like them, all to be accepted. Your friends determine the direction of your life.

But you have the power to determine who your friends are. You have to make the choice about who you hang around with at school, who you play video games with or ride around with at night, who you want to be accepted by. That’s why your parents will sometimes freak out when they think you’re hanging around with the “bad crowd.” They’re not trying to make your life miserable. They’re concerned because they know you’re going to want to be accepted by those friends in the bad crowd, which will lead you to make bad decisions. A companion of fools really does suffer harm.

So, how do you know if you have good friends or bad friends? Look at how they talk about other people and treat other people when adults aren’t around. If they’re respectful, kind and helpful, then they’re good people. But if they’re mean, hurtful towards others, disrespectful towards adults, use bad language or other similar things, then you’re going to end up being the same way to try and be accepted by them. Finding new friends is never easy, but if you need better friends, it will always be worth it. Find friends who are awesome people, and you’ll become awesome yourself!

QUESTION: Have you ever done something to impress your friends that you wish you wouldn’t have done? Why did you do it? Are your current friends making wise choices or foolish choices? Are they good friends or bad friends?

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