Psalms 1:1 “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.”
Proverbs 13:20 “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.”
If someone is going to get victory from addiction, it is very important that they separate themselves from the wrong crowd. Peer pressure is a very powerful tool that the devil can use against us. Most of us would have to admit that there has been a time in our lives that someone has influenced us to something that we would not have otherwise have done. It is because of the influence of the “wrong crowd” that many people begin a life of addictions. This is not something that is new. The influence of the wrong crowd goes back all the way to the Garden of Eden.
Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden having just received the commandment from God not to eat of the forbidden fruit. The devil knew that they were not planning to eat of it, so he had to go and influence them. He took upon the form of a serpent and approached Eve. Right away we can see the effects that the “wrong crowd” (the serpent) had on Eve. Eve began to question and doubt God and then started to desire the fruit that she knew was not to be eaten. It was not long before Eve gave in to the evil influences of the serpent and she ate the forbidden fruit. Then to make matters worst, she decided to influence Adam and drag him down to the place of sin and rebellion thus plunging the future human race into sin. If any one will think that the power of the “wrong crowd” is not a valid point to emphasize in staying free of addiction, they just have to read the first three chapters in the Bible and see how powerful the “wrong crowd” can be.
Another example of the wrong crowd occurs in 2 Samuel 13. The Bible speaks of one of King David’s sons named Amnon. Amnon had a half sister named Tamar that he loved. He was “love sick” over her, but was not going to do anything sinful to her. Then along came his friend Jonadab and the Bible says in 2 Samuel 13:3-5: “But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David's brother: and Jonadab was a very subtle man. And he said unto him, Why art thou, being the king's son, lean from day to day? wilt thou not tell me? And Amnon said unto him, I love Tamar, my brother Absalom's sister. And Jonadab said unto him, Lay thee down on thy bed, and make thyself sick: and when thy father cometh to see thee, say unto him, I pray thee, let my sister Tamar come, and give me meat, and dress the meat in my sight, that I may see it, and eat it at her hand.” In the following verses we see that Amnon was influenced by his friend and ended up taking his advice. The result was that Amnon raped his sister Tamar. Then, Absolom Tamar’s brother got revenge by murdering Amnon. The results of the influence of the wrong crowd can be quite detrimental.
If someone has decided to seek the Lord in his/her life and they have friends that are not at all interested in God, they must make a decision -- who they are going to let influence them? They will not be able to maintain their old friendships and continue to grow in their walk with God. The Bible is very clear when it says in Amos 3:3: “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” When two people hang out together as close friends they will either become agreeable in most areas or they will eventually stop hanging out together. It is true that we are now or we soon shall be what our friends are.
The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 6:15-17: “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” We must try to influence our friends, but if they are not interested in seeking God there is not much we can do. We must separate from them before they influence us! If we grow in our walk with God, and our life changes then our friends will see that God’s way works. If they pull us down to their level we will not be able to help them out of their addictions. As hard as it may seem, we must do what the Bible says and “come out from among them and be ye separate.”
What does the Bible say of the wrong crowd:
1. Psalms 1:1 “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. Proverbs 4:14-16 “Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall.”
3. Ephesians 5:11 “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”
4. Proverbs 13:20 “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.”
5. Proverbs 28:7 “Whoso keepeth the law is a wise son: but he that is a companion of riotous men shameth his father.”
How to separate from the wrong crowd?
The first step in separating ourselves from the wrong crowd is to understand the importance of separating ourselves. The next step is determining who the “wrong crowd” is. The wrong crowd is not just made up of people that drink, smoke, and/or use drugs. The wrong crowd is made up of people that live their life contrary to the Word of God. They are not willing to submit to God, nor do they believe that God’s way is the only way. These are the people that we must separate from.
Now that we see the importance of separating ourselves from the wrong crowd and knowing who the wrong crowd is, we need to separate from them. This is going to take faith because many people have close friends that are bad influences; not to mention those with boyfriends or girlfriends which they are emotionally attached to. In order for them to separate, it will take a lot of faith and commitment to God. It may be hard at first but it is the only way to stay free from addiction. You can do everything else correctly but if you do not separate from the wrong crowd you will not be able to get over addictive behaviors.
There are several practical things that we can do to avoid the wrong crowd.
· First of all we can avoid certain places where the wrong crowd hangs out.
· We can also change our phone number and not give it out to anyone who is a bad influence.
· Another good idea would be to speak about God and how He has influenced you. Let them know that you are different and no longer interested in drugs, alcohol, etc… Invite them to R.A.M. meetings, church, Bible studies. Tell them your testimony. If you do this you may find out that your old friends will either follow you or they will not want you around.
· The last thing is very important. If we do not make new friends then we will eventually get back in touch with our old ones. Therefore we must begin to make friendships with people that are seeking God in their life. Just as the “wrong crowd” can be detrimental to us, the “right crowd” can be very helpful in our quest for spiritual freedom. The right crowd can encourage us when we are down, counsel us in times of indecision, motivate us in our spiritual walk, help us in practical matters, confront us in times of spiritual decline, and assist us in personal matters and endeavors. If someone does not make new friends they will eventually get back in touch with the wrong crowd.
It may not be easy to get away from the wrong crowd but we can do “all things through Christ.” The importance of getting away from the wrong crowd is so vital that it may mean the difference between victory and defeat in the battle for freedom from addiction! Begin today by avoiding the “wrong crowd” and getting with the “right crowd!”
1. The influence of the wrong crowd goes all the way back to the G___________ ______ ______________.
2. In 2 Samuel 13 Amnon had a friend named J________________. Would Amnon have done anything sinful to
his sister if he was not influenced by his friend? ______ Explain __________________________________
3. Will someone be able to maintain their old friendships with the wrong crowd and continue to grow in their
walk with God? ___________ Explain_________________________
4. Define who the wrong crowd is: ______________________
5. What are some things that we can do to avoid the wrong crowd:
Memory Verse: Psalms 1:1 “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.”