The Confident Girl: Has Good Friends
Alright gals, let's talk about friendship. The Bible has much to say about the issue of friendship and Godly friendship is a hot topic in the Christian world. I hear of so many women who desperately want good, Godly friends, so I thought it would be helpful to check out a few biblical elements of friendship.
Let's take a look at five of the MANY passages of scripture that offer some guidelines for being and having great friends. As we look at these five key passages, majority from the book of wisdom, Proverbs, assess yourself and those you keep close to you.
"Do not be deceived: bad company corrupts good morals" 1 Corinthians 15:33 ESV
I remember when I first got saved. I still had many of the friends that I used to enjoy drinking and partying with. They were still my friends and I loved them dearly, but I found myself easily led astray while in their presence. As Paul told the Corinthians, bad company corrupts good morals. It is of utmost importance that those you surround yourself with are people that challenge you to have better morals and to love Jesus better. The friends you have should help to sanctify you! So what does this mean for you? First, it means that those you spend your time with should not be people that cause you to stumble in your walk with the Lord. Secondly, YOU should be a good friend. You should never be the person that causes your friends to stray from the Lord, but rather, the exact opposite. You should be the friend that encourages others to grow and to seek Jesus in all circumstances.
"Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare" Proverbs 22:24-25 ESV
This next verse is very clear. Do not be friends with people who have short tempers or are keen to anger. I think we've all come into contact with someone who has an anger problem. It is safe to say we probably did not enjoy those experiences, but did we consider what continued exposure to that behavior may do to us? The Bible says that we will take on that angry behavior and it will esnare us! Good friends are characterized by their gentleness and patience for others.
"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity." Proverbs 17:17 ESV
This verse is especially tough. Do you love at all times? Do your friends love at all times? Are you a friend that sticks around when things get tough? Are you abandoned by those around you when you face difficulty? These are great questions to assess yourself and your friends with. We NEED people that are willing to love us at our darkest and stick with us through adversity. My best friends are the ones that are willing to dive in deep with me, rebuke me, love me, guide me, and stick around no matter the circumstances.
"Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another." Proverbs 27:17 ESV
The Bible calls us to be friends that sharpen one another. This sharpening takes on many forms and can be seen through companionship, correction, rebuke, encouragement, and the uplifting of others. What are some ways you sharpen those around you? Do you deliberately do things to help others grow in the Lord? What about your friends? Do your friends encourage you in your holiness?
"One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor, but the way of the wicked leads them astray." Proverbs 12:26 ESV
I love this verse. I love that those who are righteous are models to others. Do you pursue righteousness in order to help guide others? Do you stand righteously as a witness to our Lord? I find that to be such a convicting question. Am I living righteously so that I am a guide to those around me? Or am I leading others astray? It is so important that our lives our marked by our Savior and that we are surrounding ourselves with people who guide us in righteousness as well!
In addition to all of these descriptions of good friends, I cannot express to you the grace God gives through community. I did not realize till just recently how rare it is to have good friends. I have amazing people in my life and I know they are an example of God's blessing to me. I pray that you are a good friend and that you have good friends. We cannot and should not walk through this life alone. Use these parameters when choosing who you spend your time with, but also remember to be a biblical friend. Encourage the people you love, guide them, disciple them, and enjoy the gift God has given you in community!