Choose Your Friends Wisely
Written by: Trophy of Grace
Our Lord has a specific plan for each of our lives. We are His masterpiece, created anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things that He planned for us long ago. We are citizens of heaven here on earth as foreigners for just a short season to fulfill Godâs will and purpose. On our journey, we will meet many people who will impact our lives. Those we choose to call our âfriendsâ are the ones who will probably have the most influence on us. They can help us fulfill our calling or serve as weights that will slow us down. Some will be a gift from God, and others will be tools in the hands of the enemy. That is why we must learn to choose our closest friends wisely. (Jeremiah 29:11, Ephesians 2:10, Philippians 3:20, Colossians 4:1-3, Ephesians 2:19)
âBad company corrupts good character.â 1 Corinthians 15:33
I remember when I was a young teen, my mother would try to warn me about hanging out with the wrong crowd. She always finished her lecture by saying to me, âLisa, birds of a feather flock together.â Of course I had that teen know-it-all attitude, and I would respond to her, âMom, just because they do those things, or act like that, doesnât mean I do or that I will.â I was so naĂŻve. The more I hung out with them, the more I changed for the worse. I started to compromise everything good my parents had taught me. I listened to the advice of my friends more than I would listen to my mom who loved me with all of her heart and only wanted the best for me. She was rightâI did start becoming part of their flock by looking, talking, and acting just like them.
She was trying to teach me to choose my friends wisely because she knew that if I hung out with people that did bad things, I could follow their influence and get in trouble. She wanted me to hang out with people who were doing positive things with their lives because she knew that if I followed their example, I too would reap the rewards of doing good. King David knew this also, and gave his sons the same advice. Listen to what he tells his sonsâŠ
âOh, the joy of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers.â Psalm 1:1
âI donât spend time with liars or go along with hypocrites. I hate the gatherings of those who do evil, and I refuse to join in with the wicked.â Psalm 26:45
His advice stuck with son King Solomon too. Listen to what he saysâŠ
âWalk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble. Trouble chases sinners, while blessings reward the righteous.â Proverbs 13:20-21
âDonât do as the wicked do; and donât follow the path of evildoers. Donât even think about it; donât go that way. Turn away and keep moving.â Proverbs 4:14-15
No matter what age we are, we should choose our closest friends carefully. If our closest friends are ones who are backstabbers, haters of God, rebellious or unrepentant âChristiansâ, insolent, proud, boastful, drunkards, partiers, or gossipers, then we are in danger of allowing our contacts with these individuals to influence and corrupt us. We must realize that sin is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough. We may not intend to participate in our friendsâ sinful activities, but it is really easy to find ourselves compromising what we stand for, our values, and our morals, when we are spending excessive time bonding with others who refuse to acknowledge God, or have abandoned the Word for their own foolish ideas. Their sinful influence is like the yeast of compromise that will eventually spread through our minds and hearts, causing us to be torn between our beliefs and our friendship. (Galatians 5:9, 1 Corinthians 5:6-8, Romans 1:28-32)
Sooner or later, they will encourage us to participate in their sin. Maybe itâll sound like this…
âItâs ladies night. Weâre going dancing, come with us. Thereâs nothing wrong with dancing. Itâs not a sin. You donât have to drink if you donât want to, but even Jesus drank wine.â
âDid you here that _______ is in trouble? She looks terrible! I ainât one to gossip, so you didnât hear this from me. But I heardâŠâ
âI hooked up with this hot guy. Heâs got a lady, but I donât care. What she doesnât know wonât hurt her. Iâm hooking up with him tonight. Heâs got a really hot friend! Come with us.â
These types of âfriendsâ are tools in the hands of the enemy, meant to cause us to stumble on our Christian journey. They will try to keep us from following the truth. It certainly isnât God who put them there to test us. He never tempts us to sin. So let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially these friendships that will trip us up. And letâs find friends that belong to our Good Shepherdâs flock. (Galatians 5:7-8, James 1:13, Hebrews 12:1-2)
ââŠEnjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.â (2 Timothy 2:22)
It is a blessing from God to have friends in our lives who love the Lord and long to please Him. He puts them in our path so that we can hold one another up as we go through this lifeâs trials, tests, and tribulations. Our Lord has placed some mighty women of God in my life who are full of Godâs love and Spirit. Their Christ-like lives have impacted my life forever. They have shown me examples of being long suffering, patient, determined, forgiving, loving, faithful, submissive, honest, and hopeful. They have held up my arms in battle when I thought I could not go on any longer with their prayers and words of encouragement and admonishment. They are true friends, gifts from God, placed in my life to help me fulfill His calling. (Exodus 17:11-13)
We all should enjoy the companionship of friends who truly love the Lord with pure hearts, because they will come along aside of us to help us run this race instead of causing us to stumble. Since their desire is the same as ours, to live for Christ Jesus, they will be the conduits that God will use to help us on our journey.
We need true friends that will pray and intercede on our behalf, speak the Word of God into our lives, encourage us to be living witnesses of Christ Jesus, and who will want to hear our dreams and visions from God. Friends who will encourage and motivate us to step out in faith and trust what God is calling us to do for Him. We need friends who will challenge us to become the women of God that He created us to be. As iron sharpens iron, so these friends will sharpen us. (Proverbs 27:17)
When we have problems or temptations that we are facing, we need friends who will speak the Truth to us in love. A godly friend will bring us back to what the Word of God says about our situation, knowing that it is His Word that will set us free and give us hope. They will share with us how they overcome their struggles and temptation. They will encourage us to do what is pleasing to God. These are the types of friends we need in this sin infested world.
We must never lose sight of the fact that we are here in this world for such a time as this to be used by God and to fulfill His great purpose. Friendships with people who love the Lord will help us fulfill the vision and purpose that the Lord has put on our hearts. Friendships with people who live only to satisfy their sinful desires and gratify the cravings of their flesh will hinder us. It is time for us to come out from among them and enjoy the companionship of those who truly love the Lord.
May the Lord help us to evaluate our friendships and give us wisdom and the courage to separate ourselves from those âfriendsâ who are tools in the hands of the enemy. May He bring us friends that have a true heart for Him, and that will love us because of their love for Jesus.
(all the above scriptures were taken from the New Living Translation)