Is it really important to choose our friends carefully, or should we “hang out” with anyone and everyone? Should we base our decision upon whether or not a potential friend is a popular person, or is a scholar, or is wealthy, or is an important public official? Should this person be full of worldly wisdom—such as evolution, transgender, or other philosophical “facts”? In answering this question, we should be honest with ourselves and reflect on our past relationship experiences to confirm the truth of the Scriptures.
Companions who do not apply peer pressure to lead a person astray, but rather make a positive impact on one’s future, are the kind of friends to choose. The Lord Jesus asked His Father the following for His future apostles:
“I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.”
Solomon and Paul the apostle provide much wisdom in regards to picking those with whom we should or should not associate.
Solomon writes about the fools, the foolish, the wicked and the angry: Through Solomon, God’s Word tells us:
The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray.
He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed.
Go from the presence of a foolish man, when you do not perceive in him the lips of knowledge.
Make no friendship with an angry man, and with a furious man do not go, lest you learn his ways and set a snare for your soul.
Paul, in addition to informing us that wisdom is from above, and foolishness is from the world, shares what the Spirit put upon his heart to write in regards to choosing with whom we should or should not “hang out.”
Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.
1 Corinthians 5:9
I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people.
1 Corinthians 15:33
Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”
2 Corinthians 6:14
Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion [fellowship] has light with darkness?
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.
2 Thessalonians 3:6
But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he [they] received from us.
All age groups can be shaped or influenced, but those to whom we should be especially concerned are children and grandchildren. Parents should set the example. The Lord Jesus taught to His disciples to pray in this manner:
“And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”
But there is a dilemma. Although we do not consistently join together with people who practice sin, we need to remember that we have an errant past. Those who’ve swallowed their pride and come to believe are now appointed to be the light of the earth and to be reconcilers. So we must be patient to wait for open doors which give opportunity to gently and respectfully share the saving Gospel message to the foolish so that they can have this same hope and eternal life.
1 Corinthians 1:18
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
And you [believer] He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. 4But God who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ, (by grace you have been saved)
Since the Savior was resurrected and ascended to heaven, He appointed those who have received His light to do what He had been doing while here in this world:
“You are the light of the world”
The Spirit inspired Paul the apostle to remind us:
2 Corinthians 5:18
Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.
How do you choose your friends?
Do you follow God’s prescription?
Feel free to leave us a comment; we would like to hear your thoughts on this.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.