The Sway of ‘They’
The Importance of Christian Friends
The book of Proverbs is full of wisdom about how we should conduct our lives. We’re looking specifically at our friends and the importance of choosing healthy Christian friendships.
Proverbs 13:20 says if we hang out with those who are wise, we’ll gain wisdom, but the person who is friends with a fool will come to harm. Don’t underestimate the importance of choosing positive Christian friends.
Do I Let My Friends Affect Me?
We have the opportunity to choose whom we associate with because we know our choice of friends affects us. Have those you spent time with influenced you in a positive or a negative way?
I’m talking about friends, who are the:
Choosing healthy friends helps you resist negative peer pressure and forge positive, meaningful friendships.
Why Is Choosing Positive Friends Important?
In friendship, we’re constantly walking with people—sometimes toward them when we should be walking away. That’s because some people in your life and mine keep us from being the kind of people God desires us to be.
What do your friends influence you to do that you don’t do if they aren’t around?
Sometimes we need to walk away from relationships we’ve established. Proverbs 14:7 tells us in The Message version, “Escape quickly from the company of fools; they’re a waste of your time, a waste of your words.” You may recognize your friends in some of the following people; people you should walk away from.
Avoid These 5 Negative Behaviors
Some behaviors can make it difficult to enjoy a person’s company, which can cause you to want to spend that time with others instead. Avoid people who behave in a way you don’t want to—not following these examples:
#1. Crying “mayday”
Some people will ask you for counsel and prayer, then they’ll go away and continue doing what they’ve always done. They’ll wear you out. They’ll steal your emotional energy. You don’t have to be mean to them, but you may consider limiting the amount of time you spend with them.
Spending time with someone whose convictions are not Biblically based can cause their values to seep into your life. One day, like decay, your life will begin to smell. And you’ll discover they’ve rotted your relationships. You can't have people close to you who are decaying your life.
#3. Fringe living
Those are people who are just kind of on the edge, on the fray. They’re with you for a season, then they’re gone for a reason. Move away from them quickly.
Betrayal happens. It’s difficult to deal with betrayal because it hurts. Psychologists report that the average American experiences seven major betrayals in their lifetime. Betrayal only happens with people you trust, who you let into your life, which is why it hurts so much.
Avoid the type of person who is always trying to one-up you. ‘Oh, you just got back from a vacation in Cancun? Well, I chartered Bill Gates’ yacht and we sailed the Greek Isles for two months!’ They raise the bar on whatever you say. They’re not only interested in looking good, but also in looking better than you.
What Positive Traits Should I Choose in Friendships?
Proverbs 13:20 says you’ll become like your friends. Identify with people who love God with the totality of who they are, and who love their fellow man. They’ve been part of the change Jesus has brought about and it segues into their friendships and their relationships.
Paul states it plainly in 2 Corinthians 6:14 (NIV), “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?”
Some people may think God is being discriminatory or cruel, but I’ll tell you why God insists on being equally yoked. He cannot imagine, and he does not want two people being together in a marriage or dating who don’t share that which is most near and dear to their hearts—a relationship with Him.
The Bible also says in Deuteronomy 22:10 (NIV), “Do not plow with an ox and a donkey yoked together.” To do so can literally kill the ox because of what the donkey eats and exhales after eating. This verse can be related to the verse in 2 Corinthians as well. Our marriage, dating, and friend relationships should be with other believers.
Obviously, we should have friends in our lives who are away from God. Otherwise, how can we tell them the good news of the gospel? I’m talking here about your close, deep, emotional friendships.
Are you seeking new friendships with positive, godly people? The church is a great place to start.
Choose Christian Friends with Healthy, Positive Qualities
Connect with others who are seeking the Lord. Look for friends who are maturing in their faith alongside you, and who will have a positive effect on you. There are certain qualities that promote growing in faith:
- A teachable spirit
Engage with people who want to learn, who are open, and who listen. Also, find people who ask questions. Proverbs 9:9 says, “Give instruction to a wise man and he will be wiser still. Teach a righteous man and he will increase in learning.” Be teachable with humility and look for others like you who desire to grow in their spiritual walk as well.
Proverbs 11:3 says, “The integrity of the upright will guide them, but the perversity of the treacherous will destroy them.” There’s a wholeness to someone who is honest. Don’t lie and don’t hang around with people who lie.
Don’t waste time trying to get others to like you. Instead, be with those who will celebrate with you.
- Yielded to God
The Bible says in Proverbs 16:3, “Commit your work to the Lord and your plans will be established.” I commit everything I do to the Lord, and I want my friends to do so also.
Healthy Relationships Begin With Jesus
Study the life of Jesus. Jesus is the only perfect example of the type of person you should aspire to be and the kinds of healthy relationships you should have.
We spend a lot of time looking for ‘the best’—the best doctor, the best dentist, the best accountant. Why shouldn’t we look for the best relationships? We need to be even more intentional about our friendships.
Jesus Is Reaching Out to You
It begins with a decision to know Jesus Christ because he has extended his nail-pierced hand to every single person. Jesus says, ‘I want to be your forever friend. I want to walk with you here and through eternity.’
Have you received Jesus? Have you received the Lord? Because that, friends, is the most important friendship ever.
If you’re ready to make the decision to trust Jesus, simply ask Him to forgive your sins and come into your heart today. Welcome to the global family of Christian believers!
We invite you to visit us in person or online at Fellowship Church or contact us if you have questions.