Surrounding Yourself with Good Influences that Make Being Different for God Easier


Being different starts with choices. If we make the right choices the first time, being different won’t be that hard.

I, being a male Christian teenager, understand how hard being a teen can be sometimes. You feel the need to fit in or be “cool.” You act differently around others to fit the social standard. You are not yourself. Being a Christian is not about fitting in, though. It is about being different. Choosing not to go to the parties that put you in bad positions, using language that is hurtful to others, or judging people on how they look are just a few ways we are different from everyone else. Striving to be different starts with choices. If we make the right choices the first time, being different won’t be that hard. Being different will feel good. As Romans 12:2 says, “do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

Surrounding yourself with good Christian friends is one of the ways making the right choices can be easier. Your friends are always there for you. They want what is best for you. If you are struggling with sin, they can encourage you. Friends who have a good influence on your life help you grow as a Christian. They peer pressure you positively into making the right choice instead of making a choice that can be costly. As it is stated in Proverbs 13:20, “[h]e who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed.”

Being blessed with a great youth minister and youth group have helped me grow as a Christian. There is nothing but love and encouragement that comes from that youth group—especially from some of the closest friends I have. Surrounding myself with these people has been a great choice in my life because nothing but good has come out of every situation I have been in with them.

Not everyone is blessed with close or even great friends though. That is where family comes in. Family means much to me. A strong Christian family always has God as the center of their life. That means a Christian family will bring God into a situation. This family teaches you God’s Word, is there for you when you are down, and always makes sure you are making the right choices because they care for you. Without a strong Christian family, life would be harder, but God finds other ways to encourage His children.

If family and friends never seem to be there when you are in need or never seem to care what choices you make, there is still Someone Who cares; His name is God. God cares for you more than you can ever imagine. He is good. He is love. God wants a relationship with us. He is the Person in our head encouraging us to make the right choices. God is always there for you, no matter what the situation is. Even though it may seem like He is not there because you cannot see Him, He is. Yes, family and friends that care for you and the decisions you make are great, but no one cares for you more than the Person Who created you: God.

The Lord your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing (Zephaniah 3:17).