Show me your friends, and I will show you the man.
“A man of many companions will come to ruin, but a friend sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24) “The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.” (Proverbs 12:26) The Bible is very clear in regards to the company we keep.
Jesus gave a wonderful parable about a son. The son was a greedy boy who wanted his inheritance from his father. The father conceded to the boy’s demands and the young lad left in search of adventure and entertainment. He squandered his money on parties, drinking, and friends. But, when the money ran out, the naïve youth found himself in a pig pen, eating the slop of pigs. Where were the friends now?
I have had the pleasure of meeting many people. I have moved quite a few times in my life for various reasons. I attended three different high schools, joined the Navy and traveled, married and moved around several communities in the state of Florida. Through these moves, state to state, or even neighborhoods, I have met a variety of people, including the ones who lavish themselves with people.
I’ve met the partier, the gambler, the traveler, the studious, the entrepreneur, the affluent, the poor, the meek, the disabled, the humble, and many more. Many of these people were extraverts and enjoyed the company of others. Sadly, many succumbed to dubious behavior to keep friendships, to stay in relationships, to satisfy addictions, parental wishes, low self-esteems, and fear of being alone. I have watched people sink lower and degrade themselves further out of fear of losing a friendship. My questions would be, “What kind of friendship is that?”
In the book of Galatians, Paul writes to the Christians in regards to questionable individuals who were attempting to lead the church astray. He writes, “Those people are zealous for you, but for no good. What they want is to alienate you from us, so that you maybe zealous for them.”
(Galatians 4:17) The Apostle corrects the Corinthians when he pens, “Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character. Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God…” (1 Corinthians 15:33-34)
Friends encourage and love one another, desiring the best possible outcome for each.
A friendship is described in the John’s Gospel between two of Jesus’ disciples. When Jesus of Nazareth asked Philip to follow Him, unable to contain his excitement, Philip first ran to his friend Nathanial. True friends share excitement, joy, comfort, and new journeys.
A friendship forged in family is described in Mary and Elizabeth’s relationship. The angel Gabriel told Mary she would become pregnant with the Messiah, while her cousin Elizabeth was pregnant in her old age. Mary immediately found her way to her cousin’s house thrilled to see what God was doing and eagerly ready to share in the blessing between the two of them.
Whether you know it or not, God cares about the company you keep. Your heart is very precious to Him
The people you are around should be uplifting and gracious such as Ephesians 5:19 praises, “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ. If you can not say these things with those you spent time with, then maybe you should question the motives behind why you spend time with the entourage you do.
The company you keep should not make you do anything you do not want to do. 1 Peter 4:4-5 reads, “They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you. But they will have to give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 1 Thessalonians 4:3 says it is God’s will that you should be sanctified. If your “friends” continue to belittle, encourage wrong behavior and demand you join in, I want you to know this behavior is ungodly. These are not friends nor people who would encourage and lift your Christian walk.
If we are led by the Spirit, we will exhibit these characteristics: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. If preceded words do not describe your friends, it is time to get knew friends.
You will NEVER reach your fullness and purpose in Christ if you continue to harbor, make excuses, and follow this entourage.
We are uniquely made in the image God designed. He has friends designed just for you. I understand there are different seasons in life where friendships change, move, or dissipate, but God will always open a door when He closes another. My pray is your self-esteem and confidence is in Christ, not your friends. Christians should never receive their esteem from friends, but through who they are in Christ.
Paul said it best in Galatians 1:10, “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please me, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Nicole, it is hard for me to leave these friends. I don’t want to admit that I like some things they do. I don’t want to be alone. Well, my sister in Christ, eventually you will end up at a cross road. If you desire to be a full follower of Christ, committed to your personal plan and purpose, then God will lead you away. Not because He wants to isolate you and exclude you from people, but because He is trying to mold and shape you into the likeness of Christ. That is VERY difficult if you are saturating yourself with the world.
My prayer is you stand for Christ. No matter the persons present, stand for our King of Kings. If they are your true friends, then each will accept you for who you are. Let us pray together and lay your friendships and company at the foot of the cross. Let us give our hearts and prayers to the Lord…
Let us pray out loud and CONFESS the Word of the Living God
a prayer for friendships and my company
Thank you I can come to you in prayer and petition giving thanks knowing your peace will protect my mind and heart in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7). I desire the friends you want me to have. I desire the things of the Lord and your Words says, “I will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 20:4, 21:2, 37:4)
I desire Christian friends. Friends who will lift me up, encourage me in my walk, and establish Truth in our group. I know the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10), and I do not want to associate myself with those people who want the same thing. Thank you there are friends for me. Friends who stick closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24) and will always tell me the Truth.
I pray for the strength through Christ to leave groups and people who are encouraging wrong behavior. Those who do not understand why I am choosing Christ or who would not want me to change for the better, I lay them at your feet and pray for their hearts.
I want to fully live for you and that includes those closest to me. I want to know my confidence is in you and not man. I do not want to be a people pleaser, but a God pleaser (Galatians 1:10). Help me to be strong where I am weak. Lead me in a courtship, a beautiful connection between the two of us, so I can grow deeper in my walk. I want to use my body as a temple for the Lord (1 Corinthians 6:19). I believe I am a new creation in Christ, the old has past and the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17)
I know many will not understand why I have changed (1 Peter 4:4-5), but I know I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13). I praise your precious name, your death on the cross for my redemption of sins. In the name of Jesus of Nazareth I pray.