When it comes to sharing examples of bad friends, I always point to a night I remember so clearly. I was driving down a dark, narrow two-lane road with the gas pedal to the floor. Intoxicated. It was the night my life hit rock bottom. I wasn’t man enough to throw my truck in front of a tree, but if I happened to lose control, then so be it.
How did I get to that point? Two words: bad friends. Don’t get me wrong. I owned my actions. My friends didn’t put me behind the wheel. I was responsible for the mess that was my life.
But the man behind the steering wheel that night allowed the actions of his friends to influence the man God created him to be. “Bad company corrupts good morals,” says the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:33. But those words never applied to me…or so I thought.
Looking back, I realize my naivety. The words did apply to me. Truth isn’t selective; it doesn’t pick and choose. And the truth in Paul’s words is a warning for us: Your friends will shape your life.
In fact, friendships contribute more to the man or woman you’re going to be (or have become) than any factor outside of God. Bold words, I know.
But this one reality might change the trajectory of your life. My prayer for this post is that one person will see, through these examples of bad friends, that their friends are shackling them from becoming the person God created them to be. And I hope they’ll make some changes.
Your friends can challenge you to achieve things you never imagined. Your friends can also cripple your dreams, leaving you on a two-lane road feeling hopeless.
Here are 7 examples of bad friends who will ruin your life:
1. The “tells you what you want to hear” friend
These friends say exactly what you want them to say and do exactly what you want them to do. To put it bluntly, they’re groupies, not friends. Groupies think their respective group, player, etc. hung the moon. The person they admire could open-hand slap an old lady on a cane, and a groupie would find some way to justify it.
These people are examples of bad friends because they don’t really love you. They’re infatuated with something you have. Popularity. Looks. Athleticism. But they aren’t concerned with pointing you to God and challenging you to be the best man or woman you can be.
Friends who love you and want you to succeed point out flaws. Friends who love you and want you to succeed point out your inconsistencies. They don’t enjoy doing that. But, with love and grace, they step into difficult conversations because they can’t bear to watch you continue down a path that might lead to destruction.