“The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.” Proverbs 12:26
I went to junior and senior high school with a guy who shared the same birthday as I did. I always thought it was pretty cool we were born on the same day. One day I opened up the newspaper and saw his obituary. He died at age 24. One of my friends found out later that he had recently gotten involved with the wrong friends and died of a drug overdose. I was stunned. He was a good student in high school, athletic, and on the basketball team. How could this have happened? It’s been almost seven years since his tragic death, but it still saddens me today.
Our friends influence us. They can either build us up in Christ our tear us down in darkness and destroy us. Let us examine below what the Bible has to say concerning the friends we choose.
Poorly Chosen Friends
“Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.’” 1 Corinthians 15:33
“He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.” Proverbs 13:20
“Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” Proverbs 27:6
“A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24
“Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.” Proverbs 22:24-25
“You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” James 4:4
Wisely Chosen Friends
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” Eccelsiastes 4:9-10
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” Proverbs 17:7
“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Jesus is Our Friend
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” John 15:12-15
Do you know who is our greatest friend and traveling companion in this life? Jesus Christ! We are never alone–not ever. Four years ago I moved from my home state with my husband, and I knew no one when we arrived at our house in a new state. I have friends now, but I know that I was never alone. God continually reminded me of His presence and His love when I hadn’t yet befriended anyone. God is always there beside us. “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
As Christians, we need encouraging friends who have come to Christ to hold us accountable for our actions, to build us up in our faith, to show us love and kindness, to impart words of wisdom, to help us in times of trouble, to share our hearts, and to help us laugh and to wipe away our tears. Do you have a friend or friends like this?
Pray this Prayer: “Dear Lord, thank you for being my true BFF–best friend forever. Please help me to choose my friends in this life wisely, so that my heart will not be led astray. Keep me pure and humble, seeking after righteousness and holiness. Help me to be a friend to others and to show them your love and your Truth. I know that I am not alone. Please help me share with others that we all have a true friend in Jesus Christ. Amen.”
Video: “What a Friend We have in Jesus” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2jJPpgb_PM