While I was attending a Christian preparatory school, I was surrounded by people who had moral standards similar to mine. But when I came to a college in a large city, I felt no one had the same standards. It didn't bother me at first. I had a solid moral foundation to begin with, so I wasn't tempted to do what I considered to be inappropriate things. And it wasn't though anyone was pressuring me to do them. I had friends who drank, but I didn't think it affected our friendship until I began reading the Bible more and learning about Christian Science and being involved in church. Then it became a dilemma for me.

There are strong moral standards in the Bible that I use as my guide to life. To me, these meant being modest and not drinking and not smoking. Treating other people the way that you want to be treated—as Jesus brought out in the Sermon on the Mount (see Matt., chaps. 5–7). While these people definitely were wonderful friends, it did not appear they'd had that type of foundation growing up. So, I wondered, should I stop being friends with them? That seemed really harsh because the Bible also tells you not to judge.

I remember, when Jesus was talking to the Pharisees, people were wondering why he was hanging out with sinners. They were judging him. But Jesus had a good answer. In essence, he said the righteous don't need me; I'm here to save those who need me. So, I began to focus on being the best person that I could be, and trusted that everything else would fall into place.

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January 26, 1998

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