The Good and Bad of Our Habits Part 2

“Show me who your friends are and I will show you your future.”

God saved me as a young person, and I thank God from my youth to today; God has given and still gives victory.  God wants to give victory to each of His children.  In the first part of this lesson, we talked about good and bad habits.  We discussed the importance of having good habits in our lives that please God.  Habits such as a good prayer life, studying God’s word, being kind to others, but we also have an enemy trying to destroy us.  This enemy has been trying to destroy God’s young people for thousands of years, and the enemy will not give up today just because it is 2021.

1Peter 5:8

“8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”

The same enemy in the garden with Adam and Eve is the roaring lion that Peter teaches is seeking to devour us.  And one way the enemy tries to destroy and devour us is through drug and alcohol abuse.

The abuse of drugs and alcohol in the US is a significant problem, but if there is one thing I’ve learned, the devil is the same in every place.  His purpose is endeavoring to destroy God’s good people.  Drug and alcohol abuse is a major problem for young people worldwide.  Half the people who abuse drugs are between 10 and 19 years old in some countries.  People who study drug addiction say that individuals who start using at 14 or younger increase their risk of future problems due to drug abuse.  Alcohol and drug abuse are associated with many health consequences, such as mental disorders and even death.  The most commonly abused drug globally is alcohol, the second is tobacco, and next marijuana.  In other countries, young people abuse glue, and in Kenya, khat abuse is common.

Drug abuse is a dangerous thing affecting our youth across the world.  In many countries, alcohol kills more people than AIDS and violence.  We also find tobacco causes millions of deaths per year.  Alcohol and drug abuse are also responsible for increased violence and crime, destruction of property, risky sexual behaviors, increased exposure to HIV or AIDS, poor academic performance, and increased dropout rates.  The devil’s goal is to destroy a young mind as early in life as possible.

Peer pressure is the most significant contributing factor to drug abuse and the devil’s favorite tactic to entice youth into drug addiction.  Peer pressure occurs when someone within your sphere of influence can influence you to do something wrong or something that makes you uncomfortable.  Sometimes peer pressure can be good.  For example, with a bit of healthy competition, someone can influence you to try harder in school.  But in the situation we are talking about today, peer pressure is not a good thing.  It is never good to feel pressured or influenced to do something harmful to you, such as drugs or alcohol.  It is important to understand that if you ask Christ to be the Lord of your life, drug use can damage your soul and body and destroy your relationship with God.

Remember, you are not an accident; you were made specifically by a loving creator who intends for your life to be dynamic and purposeful.  God made you in His image, an eternal and spiritual being, with a miraculous mind and body that bears God’s reflection, and He wants every part of you to be pure.  But this purity is only possible when our spirit lines up with God’s.  When we sin, we disrupt our companionship with God and move away from Him.  God wants us to look at our human bodies as the temple of the Holy Spirit.

1Corinthians 6:19-20

“19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

“20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

God created our bodies; He has given us His Spirit, and God wants us to glorify Him. God desires to be our friend and live within us.  Our bodies are the temple of God’s Holy Spirit.  So, we must be careful about what we put into our bodies because this could affect our relationship with God.  Remember, the devil is seeking to devour God’s Spirit within you, and he can do this by the influence of dangerous friends.  I want to share with you the following quote.

“Show me your friends and I will show you your future.”

The Proverbs of the Bible support this quote.  I want to challenge you to study the book of Proverbs.  Proverbs is a book in the Bible that teaches wisdom on living Godly every day.  The book of Proverbs is full of must-have advice about friendships beginning with the very first chapter.

Proverbs 1: 10-15

“10 My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.

11 If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause:

12 Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit:

13 We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil:

14 Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse:

15 My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path:”

This Proverb is a message directly for young people.  The Proverb writer is saying if your friends do not know God and entice you to do evil, do not listen or follow what they say.  These are dangerous friends, and it is dangerous to take advice from them or follow what they do.  The Proverb writer tells young people to be careful about who they spend time with and listen to.  Study after study finds that drug addiction starts mostly with young people and the influence of their friends.  The book of Proverbs shows us peer pressure is nothing new but has been around for a long time.  Since the beginning of time, the devil has been seeking to devour young people.

Proverbs 22:24-25

“24 Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go:”

“25 Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul.”

This Proverb shows us that we need to choose our friends carefully because our friends can influence us to do good or bad, which means the wrong friends can influence you into drug addiction, and that’s what the devil wants for you so he can destroy your life.  On the other hand, God wants to give us victory over all the enemy’s tricks.  But we need to be careful about the company we keep because our company can corrupt us, and then God’s Spirit will not stay within us.

1Corinthians 15:33

“33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.”

If we hang around people doing evil, it will affect us.  So, be careful about choosing your friends.  Remember, show me your friends and I will show you your future.

Psalms 1:1-2

1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

My challenge to you; is to be careful with your friends.  Your friends can encourage you toward sin or alcohol and drug addiction, or your friends can encourage you to go toward God.  Focus on good Godly friends, friends who want to serve God.  If you spend time with your friend who wants to serve God, you can encourage each other toward the same goal, making heaven your home.

1Peter 5:8

“8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”

Thank God we don’t need to let the devil devour us.  Instead, we can stand on God’s word and His promises stay close to God’s family, His Church, and His friends.  God will bless and strengthen us on our walk, and we can make heaven our home.