It is without a doubt that God wants us to love others (John 13:34). With this in mind, it is important for us to strive to be friends with everyone. Even though we should be friends with everyone, it is not uncommon for us to have one, two, or three closest friends.
Jesus, Himself had the inner three, with which He had stronger friendships during His earthly life. Since we are in control of who we choose to be our closest friends, how can we be wise in our decisions?
Why Should We Choose Our Friends Wisely?
“Has anybody helped you fall?” (“High,” Two Door Cinema Club, Keep On Smiling). This lyric from Two Door Cinema Club’s discography truly causes us to think of relationships in our life. How many times have we known people who have caused or “helped” us to fall?
These individuals are those who have influenced us negatively or caused us to engage in wrong behaviors. These types of individuals are not good people to spend time with.
While we should be friendly, caring, and loving to all people, our closest friends do not need to be those who will cause us to fall. If a person is helping to assist us in falling, we need to cut ties with them as they will only lead us into sin.
Obvious sins are more pronounced and seen, such as alcoholism, foul language, and unethical behaviors, yet other less pronounced sins can be just as detrimental. Even though we can’t physically see the sin, it can still affect us if we spend a great deal of time with the person.
We have to be wise in the way we choose our friends and also be wise in the way we treat others. It is vital to be a friend in order to be a friend. While we can’t choose who our family members are, we can choose our friends. This is why it is important for us to choose our friends wisely.
Our friends highly influence us, even more so than our parents. Many of us tend to spend more time with our friends than with our parents or family members.
Since we will spend the majority of our time around our friends, we need to make sure we are choosing people who will help us in our Christian walk.
There again, we should be friends with everyone, but we need to choose our closest friends wisely. Whether we admit it or not, our friends' behaviors will rub off on us. We want only good things to rub off on us, not bad things.
When choosing our friends, choose those who will help you become a better follower of Christ, one who will point you back to God, and one who will be there for you through both the good and bad times.
Having friends is extremely important. Growing up, my family never placed a huge emphasis on friends, and actually, I was looked down upon because I wanted to have friends. I was seen as the odd one out because I wanted to have friends.
A key reason why I wanted to have friends was because my family wasn’t really friends to me. I am extremely close to one of my sisters, but my other sister has never been supportive, helpful, or a positive example.
She has always been manipulative and hurtful to me, and personally, even from a young age, I wanted to have friends who I could rely on because I couldn’t rely on my family. Maybe you have felt the same thing happen in your own life.
What Does the Bible Say about Friends?
Oftentimes, a friend can be closer than a family member. The Bible tells us this truth as Proverbs 18:24 says, “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
This passage of the Bible leaves us with two important truths — one, that unreliable friends will come to ruin, and two, that we can have a friend who is closer to us than a family member.
Many of us have had a friend who meets these criteria; however, if you haven’t, you will make a friend one day who will stick closer than a brother, sister, mother, or father.
Our friends often understand our struggles more than our family members do, which is why we tend to be closer to them. It is also common for us to be more open with our friends because our families tend to judge us.
As we are choosing our friends, we need to be wise. Proverbs 12:26 says, “The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.” If we don’t choose our friends wisely, we will end up with friends who will lead us astray and cause us to fall into sin.
As Christians, we need to surround ourselves who will support us, care about us, and love us. By choosing the right friends, we will be able to strengthen not only our relationship with the individual but also our relationship with God.
We need to be actively following God, but if we have unhealthy relationships, it will lead us further and further away from God. We must be wise when we are choosing our friends because they can help us grow closer to God or draw us away from Him.
It is important that we choose our closest friends to be those who will point us back to God. Our friends highly influence our behavior and our actions, which is why we need to choose our friends wisely.
If you are in need of new friends, pray for God to help lead you to the right friends. In addition to praying, you can also try to make friends at church or at a Bible study. Be creative in the ways that you search for friends.
God will help you and guide you to where you can find long-lasting friends who help point you back to Him. In the same way, we need to be true friends to others by extending love, kindness, and support to them.
While choosing friends, lean on the Lord and trust in His guidance. We will be wise by asking for God’s help and taking tangible steps ourselves to find friends who will help us grow in our relationship with Christ.
Why Does This Matter?
As previously mentioned, we still need to be friends with everyone, yet we will all have closer friends. When choosing our friends, we need to exercise wisdom. Wisdom can be given to all people if they ask God for it (James 1:5). God holds back no good thing from His children as He wants us all to grow in Him.
Trust the Lord today and rely on Him. Through prayer and doing tangible things on your part, you will be able to find true friends who will lift you up and help you in life, your relationships, and your growth in Christ.
When we choose our friends wisely, we will help to cultivate a stronger relationship with God. True friends will help point us back to God when times are hard, and they will also be with us through both the good times and the bad times.
They won’t leave us when things get hard as fair-weather friends would. God loves us, and He wants us to have friends who are supportive and caring, and point us back to Him.
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Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Xavier Lorenzo
Vivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master's degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.