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Choose Your Friends Carefully

It is absolutely crucial that you pursue making friends with people who are actively following Christ.
If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, and yet your closest friends are not, it's very likely that your spiritual growth will be hindered, if not stymied altogether. In 1 Corinthians 15:33 we're told that "bad company corrupts good morals." That makes sense when you consider that unbelievers

  • often don't share your moral convictions,

  • don't have the ability to relate to you on a spiritual level, and

  • can't really understand the most important thing in your life, which is Christ. ...

It is absolutely crucial that you pursue making friends with people who are actively following Christ.

Beware of "Back-Row" Christians
What about friends who say they love Christ, yet their actions are just the opposite? Isn't it possible that a person can be a Christian but just not live it out very well? It is possible, and unfortunately, it happens all the time. Beware of a friendship that doesn't easily center on Christ. ...

How to Be Godly Friend
Perhaps the best way to find godly friends is to work hard at being a godly friend yourself. Here are some ideas for how to sustain friendships that are pleasing to the Lord.

  • Genuinely enjoy talking about Christ with other people. Learn how to bring Him up in natural conversation while talking with others.

  • Allow your Christian friends to correct you if, and when, you step out-of-bounds in your Christian walk. Work hard at not being defensive.

  • Don't be easily swayed back to your old lifestyle. It will stunt your growth in the Lord and disappoint those who are close to you.

  • Be fun to be around. Laugh, have a great time, and develop your sense of humor and the natural abilities and talents God has given you.

  • Encourage your friends in the areas where they do well.

  • Be active in your prayer with, and for, each other.

  • Seek out environments together where you can grow spiritually. Let godly places and activities be the hub of your social life and your relationships.

Don't let wrong friendships hinder your new life in Christ. Choose your closest friends carefully. Make sure they are leading you toward Jesus Christ, not away from Him.

Excerpted by permission from TruthQuest Survival Guide: The Quest Begins!, copyright 2002 by Steve Keels. All rights reserved. Published by Broadman & Holman Publishers, Nashville, Tenn.,, 1-800-448-8032.

Steve Keels is the general editor of the TruthQuest Bible and a pastor of student ministries. He has worked with young people at Good Shepherd Community Church in Oregon since 1978. His current ministry includes a combined weekly attendance of 700 students. Dan Vorm graduated from Moody Bible Institute in 1985 and Western Seminary in 1987. Having served as a missionary to Greece for a number of years, he is currently pastor of local outreach at Good Shepherd Community Church.

What qualities do you look for when choosing friends, and why? What kind of friend do you try to be to others, and how do you strive to do so? Visit Crosswalk’s forums to discuss this topic by clicking on the link below.

Originally published March 25, 2002.