WHO ARE YOUR FRIENDS?
There is a proverb that states, “Show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are.” We often reflect the behavior and attitudes of those with whom we associate. After Jesus’ disciples received the Holy Spirit they were transformed by an uncommon boldness in the face of adversity. Luke revealed the reason why they had such confidence:
Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus. – Acts 4:13
Peter and John demonstrated confidence when they were confronted by the religious leaders. The word confidence literally means speaking freely and by implication it implies boldness and an absence of fear. After they met with the religious leaders, they continued to pray that they might speak with confidence:
And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence – Acts 4:29
God answered their prayer and we see them continuing to speak with boldness:
And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness. – Acts 4:31
The religious leaders were amazed and wondered how could this be since they were uneducated. The word uneducated does not mean illiterate, but it means that they had no formal rabbinical training. The religious leaders did not realize the source of their confidence. Their confidence was not the result of ministerial training but the presence of God – these men had been with Jesus. What is the result of being with Jesus? You will demonstrate a life of confidence. When Peter and the apostles were confronted by the religious leaders they did not back down, but declared their allegiance to God:
But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.” – Acts 5:29
Is that your response? Imagine taking a piece of cold iron and attempt to bend it into a certain shape. In spite of your efforts, you will not be able to form it. If you heat the iron, then it will become malleable and you may fashion it into a form that you desire. As you invest time with Jesus, He can soften your heart and you can be fashioned into the image of Jesus. Solomon identified the importance of the right friendships:
He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. – Proverbs 13:20
The Apostle Paul gave a warning of the deleterious effects of unwholesome friendships upon our character:
Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.” – 1 Corinthians 15:33
You must realize that you make your friends and you friends will make you. Make sure you’re investing time with Jesus and you will see that He enables ordinary people to do extraordinary feats.