Do your friends raise you up in life or bring you down? Have you ever had trouble choosing friends in the past? God uses friendship as an instrument of sanctification, and it is crucial that, as Christians, we learn to diligently choose our friends. You have probably heard of famous quotes about friendship such as “You become like the 5 people you spend the most time with. Choose carefully.” “You don’t need a certain number of friends, just a number of friends you can be certain of.” The Bible gives us numerous verses on the crucial nature of friendship and why we should be careful about who we allow ourselves to associate with.  

It is important to understand that being a loving and forgiving Christian doesn’t mean that you are to hang around with individuals who pull you away from Christ. Friends build you up and add wisdom unto your life. And when we let Him, God often removes bad influences from our lives by taking away friends that pull us away from Him and replace them with good ones. This drift is not always a great experience, but in God’s word, He emphasizes on good friendship and the harm of having the wrong people in our lives.

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Proverbs 12:26 says “The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.” This means that choosing friends is a form of worship. It pleases God when we choose friends as guided by Him. Proverbs 13:20 says “Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.” This means that friends have direct or indirect input to our behavior over time. The book of Proverbs, in various verses describes characteristics of a true friend such as loyalty, wisdom, honesty, slowness to anger and many more. Good friends will be honest with you even when the truth hurts, as long as it builds you as much as it is hard to hear. It is best to take time to pray to and wait upon God to grant us friends with and who bring out such qualities within us.

The most important friendship, nevertheless, is one with Jesus Christ. John 15:14-16 says “You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because the slave does not understand what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, because I have revealed to you everything I heard from my Father.” The biggest step toward becoming a friend of Jesus is by obeying his commands, and choosing the right friends is one of the steps. Therefore, the next time you’re at a crossroads regarding friendship, read God’s Word and pray earnestly for His guidance in making the right decisions.

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