As Christians, we know how meaningful relationships are, it takes work, and it takes care to maintain good relations with the people in our lives. Without a doubt, our marriages involve a lot of work, as does our parenting. But another type of relationship that requires careful consideration is friendship. Before any of us get married and have families of our own, our friends are influential and have a lot to do with the sort of people we become.
Whether you were raised in a Christian home or not, you must understand that God wants us to be discerning about the company we choose to keep. God created us to be around other people, God gave us communities, but Christians are not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers. We can be friends with unbelievers but to a degree.
It is a real tragedy when people, being so desperate to fit in, make friends with abusers. It is saddening how many people get led astray by people they perceive as friends. As Christians, we need to be intentional about what kind of people we want in our lives. The Bible tells us that bad company corrupts good character; we are social creatures. That’s how God made us, but we must be careful to whom we open our lives and our hearts.
We need fellowship with those who will support our walk with the Lord and who themselves walk closely with the lord. We want the sort of friends who love Jesus and their family in Christ. We should not have to sacrifice inner peace for the sake of clinging to shallow, counterfeit friendships; instead, we can enjoy the fullness and peace of God in every area of our lives, including our associations with others.
The Cost Of Following Jesus
One of the biggest concerns for new Believers is whether or not they will lose their old friends as they follow Jesus, and it’s understandable to have that concern. We have strong attachments to our friends, and it can be hard to let go.
The truth is that there is a cost to following Jesus, and you will lose friends; however, as you continue your walk with the lord, you will want to be with people who cherish Jesus these people will be an encouragement to you.
You will discover that you no longer miss your old way of life, including your old friends. If you are genuinely born again, you will love Jesus more than anyone or anything, and your new friendships will reflect the new creation you are in Christ.
Many Christians will have friends that are not Christians, they may not even be remotely religious, but the bond is not the same as with a Christan friend, the reason being that our fellow believers are our brothers and sisters in Christ. A good test of our faith is to ask ourselves, who do we love more? Do we love unsaved family members more than our brothers and sisters in the Lord? That connection to other believers is vital for the body of Christ, as we are all members of that same body. We will be sharing eternity with our fellow believers.
Speaking from personal experience, I have moments when I feel weak in my faith, but I know that my family in Christ are there to pray for me and support me in my time of need, and I must be willing to do that for my godly friends.
Friendship For A Young Christian
If you are a young person in school or college, it is wise to look for friends who love the Lord and who can be a positive influence in your life. The people of this world do not love the Gospel, they are hostile to the Good News, it is unwise for you to associate with people like that.
You may think that they will see the Light in you, and will want what you have, but that is a rarity. What usually happens is that you will be led astray; these people hate what you are about and will want to change you. God’s enemies are very controlling (sometimes without knowing it), and before you know it, you will be down the path that leads to destruction – it’s a dark place to be.
Friendship For A Married Person
If you are married, Godly friends are an enormous blessing, you need friends that will bless your marriage, and will encourage you to be a better spouse. You need people that won’t talk badly about your husband or wife but instead will help you to be loving, kind, and patient with your spouse.
We live in a culture that treats marriage like it’s only a piece of paper, and divorce is only around the corner if you are unhappy. Your friends should be the kind of people who honor your marriage and pray for you both.
God’s Wisdom On Friendship
I could go on about the subject of friendship, but let’s look at what God’s word has to say about it:
Proverbs 12:26 One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”
Proverbs 13:20 Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
Proverbs 19:20 Listen to advice and accept instruction that you may gain wisdom in the future.
Proverbs 14:6-7 A scoffer seeks wisdom in vain, but knowledge is easy for a man of understanding. Leave the presence of a fool, for there you do not meet words of knowledge.
Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?