Updated: Jun 9, 2020
Every day and in every area of our lives, we make choices. We choose what we will wear, where we will spend our money, what we will make for dinner, and the list goes on. Many choices don’t make a significant difference from day to day, but there is one area that certainly does: our choice of friends.
Do we give much thought to the friends we keep? The ones we talk to and hang out with on a regular basis? While God wants us to be kind to everyone, He has also given us guidelines for who we should allow to get close to us.
A good friendship can drag a soul out of the deepest, darkest pit. A bad friendship can drag a soul into the deepest, darkest pit.
As 1 Corinthians 15:33 says, “Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”
The Lord cares about our souls and has given us guidance for an abundant life in Him. When we allow Him to direct our paths, that is where we find the greatest fulfillments in life. Because He wants to see our souls saved, His word has made it clear who we should or shouldn’t link arms with in close bonds of friendship. It really doesn’t get any clearer than 2 Corinthians 6:14, which says, “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?”
Does this mean that we should snub those who aren’t walking with the Lord? Of course not. However, in order for us to prosper in our Christian walk and in life itself, our friends must be chosen carefully, as our friendships can make us or break us. God gave us guidelines because He truly wants what is best for us. He knows that wrong friendships can destroy us spiritually, therefore He wants to protect us.
Healthy friendships will encourage us spiritually. Proverbs 27:17 tells us, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” Friends that challenge us to do better, be better—those are the friends that will help us on our journey. Friends that encourage us to forgive, do the right thing, continue on when we’re discouraged or tired—those are the friends we need. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 tells us, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
While we see the importance of surrounding ourselves with good, wholesome friends, let us not forget to be that same type of friend to others. We need to be the other side of the friendship that does for others as we need them to do for us. Let us be those encouraging voices that lift another soul, or who pray for others and promote unity and peace throughout our circles. Let us be the ones that lift our friends when they are spiritually tired or discouraged.
Thank the Lord for His wonderful gift of friendship. When we follow the guidelines He has set out for us, our lives will be abundantly blessed—with the good times, laughter, sad times, tears and everything in between that make up our beautiful relationships with companions we are blessed to call friends.