PLACE a bar of gold next to one of silver. Press them together and let them remain in that position for several months. Then separate the bars. What will you see? Why, some gold will be found in the silver bar and some silver in the bar of gold! What has happened?
Close contact has played its part. “Particles of gold and silver have migrated across the boundary,” says Selig Hecht in Explaining the Atom.
This well illustrates a Bible principle. A person’s associates have an effect on him or her. Just as the silver could be seen in the gold bar and the gold in the silver bar after they had been in contact for a period of time, so your friends have an effect on you.
The Christian apostle Paul stated: “Do not be misled. Bad associations spoil useful habits.” (1 Cor. 15:33) Paul was discussing the resurrection hope. As the strongest proof that God can raise the dead to life again, the apostle cited the resurrection of Jesus Christ. (1 Cor. 15:12-32) But some men were denying this doctrine. Therefore, the apostle remarked that “bad associations spoil useful habits” and then urged: “Wake up to soberness in a righteous way and do not practice sin, for some are without knowledge of God. I am speaking to move you to shame.” (1 Cor. 15:34) Those to whom Paul wrote his divinely inspired letter needed to wake up from the stupor of wrong doctrine, which was misleading certain ones and causing spiritual sickness and death. And why was this happening? Because some were associating with advocates of false doctrine
Clearly, then, it really matters who your friends are. A person can be affected detrimentally in a spiritual way by those he chooses as his friends. However, this proves true in other matters as well.
The wise man Solomon said: “Do not have companionship with anyone given to anger; and with a man having fits of rage you must not enter in.” Why? “That you may not get familiar with his paths and certainly take a snare for your soul.” (Prov. 22:24, 25) Companionship with a person who is given to fits of anger can make an individual become just like him. This proves to be a snare, for it leads to involvement in arguments, sin and various unfavorable consequences.
Hence, a person’s friends can affect him in more than one way. Not only can they have a bad effect on him spiritually; they can also induce him to manifest very undesirable personality traits. Both of these things can ruin a Christian’s life.