Following Righteousness In Friendships
Friendships are important to God because of the tremendous influence they hold over our lives. We often make many decisions based on the counsel of friends, and through friendship, we can significantly impact the lives of others, either good or bad. Because of this it is critical to follow God’s guidance in establishing and maintaining friendships.
Every Christian is instructed to “be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work. . . . [He is to] follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart ” (II Timothy 2:22).
Decide to Seek God Concerning Friendship
Friends influence our lives daily, encouraging us to pursue a closer walk with God or discouraging us from following Christ. Every believer should make three basic decisions about friendships:
- Let God choose your friends based on their desire for God’s best, your ability to share with them, and their ability to share with you. “Exhort one another daily . . . lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13). True friends exhort and encourage one another.
- Purpose to verbally identify with Christ whenever you are asked to compromise. Learn to “stand alone” against evil. With a loving and meek spirit, be quick to explain, “I have given my life to the Lord Jesus Christ, and I am not able to do that.”
- Realize that those who reject Christ should reject you. You can have casual friendships with non-believers, but you should not have intimate friendships with non-believers, because you do not share the same goals. (See Proverbs 13:20.)
~ God shares with us His own perfect opinions, counsel, and warnings about friendship in His Word ~
- “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend” (Proverbs 27:17).
- “Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul” (Proverbs 22:24-25).
- “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity” (Proverbs 17:17).
- “. . . A whisperer separateth chief friends” (Proverbs 16:28).
- “A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24).
- “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful” (Proverbs 27:6).
- “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed” (Proverbs 13:20).
- “Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel” (Proverbs 27:9).
- “Henceforth I [Jesus] call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you” (John 15:15).
- "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world." (1 John 2:15)
- "You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God." (James 4:4)