Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Have you ever heard of being a people pleaser? It may not be a big deal if people I really don’t even know try to influence me, but when it’s my friends, it’s a whole different story. Those we love and care about have the biggest impact on our lives. If I heard that someone I know was hurt or in some kind of trouble, I'd be affected by that a lot more than if someone I have no relationship with was in the same situation; I'm sure you'd probably feel the same way. This is definitely not because we don't care about those we haven't met, but because things hurt more when we are closely involved with the ones who are affected. Most of us love our close friends and want them to be happy -- not only with what is happening in their worlds, but with what is happening in ours as well.
If I were to tell you that your best friend wanted you to go against everything you believe in, would you do it? Would you even believe my accusations? If you're anything like me, then you probably wouldn't. I don't know about you, but I'm definitely the type of person that loves to have lots of close friends around. As we grow, our friends grow, too, and sometimes our ideas and values can change. If we are following God's will for our lives, then our way of thinking should change for the better, drawing us closer to Him. But as we see from the headlines in the newspapers every day, not everyone is following God's will. In fact, most people aren't, and we can easily be led astray by those around us. It can be hard to say no to your friends, but anything that you think would be displeasing to God is where we as Christians must draw the line. Praying about our problems and reading God's Word will help with this. Also remember that when you strive to do what is right, you may lose some friends over it, but your true Best Friend will never leave your side.
This year, my New Year's resolution is to get closer to God and to let His Word shape my opinions instead of listening to others who might lead me astray. I know that there will be times when I don't keep it the way I should, but with His help I can stay strong and ultimately become a better person. I challenge you to have the same goal as you begin to take on the year. God wants us to be the best we can be, so why wait? With God's help, 2013 can be the best year we've ever had. So live to be acceptable in God's eyes and no one else's. Live renewed in His Holy Spirit. And most of all, live for God and then the allurement of others will not be nearly as great. Happy New Year!