I have had several ask me to write on this topic of Godly Friendships and what we as Christians are supposed to look for in friends, and who is NOT friend material for someone who would want to live a Godly life. This photo is a little blurry...kind of like how we feel sometimes on this subject!
First I want to share a few scriptures on friendships...what does God say?
John 15:13-15 " There is no greater love than to lay down your life for one's friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn't confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told Me."
Proverbs 12:26 "The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray."
Proverbs 20:6 "MANY will say they are loyal friends, but who can find one who is truly reliable?"
Proverbs 22:24-25 "Don't befriend angry people or associate with hot-tempered people, or you will learn to be like them." WOW, those are strong predictions!! This speaks to the image at the beginning of this post...
OK, there are a bunch of scripture on friendships. We've all heard most of them in our lives at one time or another. What kinds of advice is given in just those scriptures above? Notice key words or phrases associated with friends that our Lord speaks of..."heartfelt counsel", "laying down your life for a friend", good advice","don't befriend angry people", "reliable". Some good advice, but I think we can go a little deeper.
What kinds of friendships are we as Christians supposed to have...what kinds are we supposed to avoid...and why? WOW...a huge topic! Let's try to make it simple for this post...if we can...whew...here goes...
If we can agree that our reason for being here is to praise and worship our God, Luke 4:8 " Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only" be like Jesus, I John 2:6 "Whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked" and, try to bring as many with us to heaven as we can during our "visit here on this earth. The great commission: Matthew 28:18-20 "Then Jesus came to them (His disciples)...we are His disciples by the way...and said "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." THEN we have some guidelines; reasons for making Godly friendships and why friendship with the world is not in our best interests.
AND, if we follow the command to bring others to Christ...teaching...saving HOW can we do that if we are seen by the world as just like them? Come on...you know what I am talking about...participating with them in ungodly behavior...it happens...we know it does...:)
I have been told when talking about this subject that I am being judgemental of others, that I am NOT being like Christ as even he ate with tax collectors, and that it is a sin to judge. I hear the point some try to make. I would say to people who say this to me that I, in no way, am judging whether these people are better or worse than me, I am not saying they are going to hell (which IS judgement), I am not saying they are evil and wrong and I am so great! Oh my goodness, NO! I am merely trying to find God's advice on who is best for me to make my closest friends, and why God gives guidelines on the matter.
As you have guessed, this is a BIG topic that is best explored in stages...This is stage number one...We have talked about what is said about friendships, what our reason for being here on earth is, and have touched on some things that can happen if we are friends with the wrong people. The next post will delve a bit deeper into what God says on the topic of friends and who we should make our close friends of. I hope you can stay with me!!