Friendships are a mirror of who a person is. If you want to understand your disciple, get to know his friends. Your disciple has chosen his friends and his friends have chosen him.
Parents, you should not be nearly as concerned about friends being a bad influence on your child as who your son or daughter chooses as a friend because the choice of friends is a reliable indicator of the inner man of your child. Another window into your child’s heart is who chooses your son or daughter as a friend, because like attracts like. Children know how to deceive their parents, teachers, coaches, youth pastors, and disciplers but friendships expose a person for who he really is.
Often when I point out this friendship mirror principle to my disciples it makes them uncomfortable. One guy recently said to me, “But I don’t want to become like my friends!” even though he was already exactly like his friends. It is comfortable to live in denial believing that I am in a better condition than my friends, when in reality friendships are an accurate diagnostic tool for my heart condition.