DO I HAVE TO BE FRIENDS WITH EVERYONE AS A CHRISTIAN
Having friends is pretty sweet. When we have the right friends, those who love God and love his word, we find ourselves treasure that is very valuable. However, when we have the wrong friends, we are left with a problem that will consume us. Do you believe that? I hope you do.
To those who are in a genuine Spirit-filled, fully-surrendered relationship with the Lord and He now guides and directs – one of the first things you’ll find happening is that God is going to prune out the people He doesn’t want in your life and put the right people He wants in your life.
The Bible advises us to choose our friends wisely in this life, as those who keep company with fools will be destroyed.
The word of God teaches us that we should not be unequally yoked with unbelievers, that we should stay away from people who cause disputes and offenses and withdraw from any brother who walks in chaos.
That doesn’t mean we can’t work with the poor, the downtrodden, and the people who need to find God and His eternal salvation message.
During the time of Jesus on earth, He associated with the sinners and the outcasts. As Jesus went after these sinners, it was only for the sole purpose of saving and healing them. He denounces the Pharisees and many of the Jewish leaders of high rank for their hypocrisy.
The Bible advises us to stay away from people who are known as “dogs” and refrain from people who are “workers of iniquity.”
Some of the things God does in your life when you get into a complete surrender with Him is to start setting boundaries. He determines the direction you’re going to take in Him. He guides you through the particular tasks He’ll want you to do in this lifetime.
If you’re single and haven’t married yet, He’ll lead you in His perfect will to the mate He’ll want you to get married.
In other words, God will decide who will be your true friends in this life, and who won’t.
The major reason God will help you choose who your true friends will be in this life is that His ultimate and supreme purpose is to transform and sanctify yourself.
In other words, He wants you to grow and mature spiritually in your walk with Him.
The main reason God may decide to weed away the friends that He doesn’t want you to have in your life is that some of these people could be bad influences on your life.
The friends you choose might hinder from growing and maturing in the Lord as you should. Or ridicule you and make fun of you, and all they end up doing is stunting your growth in the Lord.
God does not put up with this, and so He will strip all these evil and divisive practices out of your life very early until you enter into full surrender with Him. It’s the same with those who are married with kids, and you don’t want your kids to hang out with other kids that you know would be a bad and disruptive influence on your children.
You know if your kids start hanging out with the wrong sort of kids, they can quickly get tainted in a very short time. As a result, you’ll watch your kids closely until they’re old enough to start deciding who their friends will be.
It’s the very same way with God, the father! That’s why God would step really early to take those negative forces out of your life.
If you’re going to encourage God to prune out the people He doesn’t want in your life, what He’s going to do is bring in the people He wants in your life.
I call these kinds of friends, “God-friends.” These people are going to be really good, godly, spirit-filled Christians who are truly walking in good faith with the Lord, and now they are the ones with whom He wants you to share your walk with!
You will need other healthy, strong Christian friends in your life to help you grow in the Lord. The Bible makes us understand that we can only “learn in part.” No-one has all the answers. Through sharing your walk with other healthy, strong, Christian people, you will help each other grow in God’s truth and ways.
One of the verses in the Bible notes that two friends will help each other sharpen up like “iron sharpens iron.” Just like one piece of Iron will make the other piece of Iron incredibly sharp by rubbing against it – by sharing their own personal journeys in the Lord with one another, two good Christian friends can also have the same kind of positive effect on each other.
Through sharing your journey with other healthy, strong, Christian friends, you will actually speed up your spiritual growth and progress in the Lord as you will have more than one source to feed and learn from.
You will learn about God from all your personal journeys and encounters with Him, but you can also know more about God from the personal exploration and encounters with Him from your friend.
How many of these God-friends types do you expect to have in your life? To each and every one of you, only God would be able to answer that. Others would only get one or two to start with, while others might get 5 or 10. Let God dictate how many will be brought into your life, and when.
What really matters is not the number of friends you have in your life but the positive impact they add to your life.
You’re much better off with only one or two nice, strong, value-added friends as opposed to 10 or 15 who are bad.
Each Christian functions with the Lord at different rates of spiritual growth. God knows best who will suit you better at the stage of spiritual growth that you are actually working with Him.
When God brings in these different kinds of God-friends to share your journey – they will be real treasures!
Sadly, what you will find out as time goes by is that just because someone might be a Christian saved and born again doesn’t mean that this individual is behaving right in the Lord. Some people found their walks with the Lord too judgmental and too serious. Others have been too confident and pompous, believing they have all the answers to it all. They will tend to look down upon anyone else who does not operate at the level of knowledge at which they operate. In their walks with the Lord, others have become so flaky that they have lost contact with truth, and you would not be able to communicate with them.
God knows best who would best suit you at your present level of spiritual maturity with Him – so let Him direct you to those with whom He wants you to interact. I’ve seen God do this so many times for others that I honestly find it a remarkable piece of work, especially as to how He gets you first to meet some of those people.
Some of these chess movements are very impressive because most of these people will be completely unknown to you before God steps in to match you two.
Apart from God connecting you with complete strangers, the other thing that might happen is that He will move on to someone else you might meet, but you are not specific good friends. Then that person gets saved and plugged in, and then they find out that you too are saved and plugged in – and now a good friendship with God can begin to build up as you now have something in common with each other to begin building a good solid friendship.
This could be another member of your family, someone you can work with, a friend you may have known from your past, or somebody you may see from time to time at church, but never really talked to. There are infinite possibilities as to where those people would come from.
Those God-friends could come from anywhere and at any time – so keep up your radars, because you never know when God will move to bring one of them into your life.
WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT FRIENDSHIP
1. Choose your friend wisely
The first verse is the one that advises us to carefully choose our friends in this life. This verse will actually be burned into your memory banks so you can never, ever forget the Lord’s simple order! Here we go:
“The righteous choose their friends carefully,but the way of the wicked leads them astray.” (Proverbs 12:26);
And this verse tells us clearly that if we don’t choose our friends very carefully in this lifetime, we may end up choosing the wrong kind of people to become friends with, and they might end up leading us astray from God and what He wants to do with our lives. Some of the men of God have lost their calls in Him because they want to hang out with people of the wrong kind.
2. Benefits of Good-Friends
There are six very insightful verses here that remind you why God needs you to share your walk with other healthy, strong Christian friends.
“Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.” (Proverbs 11:14).
“A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.” (Proverbs 24:5).
“Every purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war.” (Proverbs 20:18)
“Without counsel, purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counselors they are established.” (Proverbs 15:22)
“Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.” (Proverbs 19:20)
“Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.” (Proverbs 19:27)
Once you turn your life’s reins over to God for Him to handle it fully, He will now make sure you match up with the right kind of people that you can become God true friends
3. As Iron sharpens Iron
This next verse is incredibly interesting as it tells us that two friends will help each other sharpen up as Iron sharpens Iron.
A true friend can help you stay fresh in the Spirit, let you know when you get too far off track, help you get through and make sense of some of the downswings that can occur on your walk, confirm and help you bear witness when you’re on the right track, give you pep talks when needed, and help you stay in line when you start getting too angry and upset when things don’t go your way.
You both serve to help hold one another up in the Lord so that each of you can continue to remain on the straight and narrow path in which God has set before you. You can also help one another out if you are tempted to do something you shouldn’t indulge in. Here goes the verse:
“Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” Proverbs 27:17.
4. Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers
These next seven verses will tell us not to be yoked along with unbelievers, foolish men, dogs, evil workers, those who are disorderly, reckless, contentious, and always cause trouble and strife.
Particularly one verse tells us that “evil company corrupts good habits.” This verse shows us what can happen to s when we start hanging out with the wrong type of people.
Here are seven positive verses reminding us to stay on our side of the fence, and stay away from all the bad heads that have no love of God and everything for which He stands.
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14)
“He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” (Proverbs 13:20)
“A scorner seeketh wisdom, and findeth it not: but knowledge is easy unto him that understandeth.” (Proverbs 14:6)
“Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.” (Philippians 3:2)
“Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.” (2 Thessalonians 3:6)
“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. ” (Romans 16:17)
“Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.” (1 Corinthians 15:33)
All these verses give us big reminders about keeping away from all the bad apples in this life that will do nothing but seek to pull us down to their lower level of life in this life.
Most Christians have had their lives utterly ruined and broken as a result of marrying the wrong people or wanting to hang out with the wrong kinds of friends.
Just as God saw fit to create Eve and Adam in the Garden of Eden when He first created the first man, God also puts incredibly high importance on personal friendships. He will make sure that you have the right people in the right number in your life so that you can help each other out and grow daily in the Lord.
When Jesus sent the twelve apostles out to walk with His anointing, He sent them out two by two.
There are lots of wonderful things that God will permit to happen in your life, and you’ll need someone to speak to, wind up, connect, learn from each other, and help keep each other on track.
I believe Jesus gave us a big piece of insight when He started sending the apostles out two-by-two instead of on their own.
Only go to God the Father in prayer and ask Him to get you the right friend who would be better suited for you at your present stage of spiritual growth if you have not been matched with a God-friend at this time. If God did it in the Garden of Eden for Adam, so there’s no excuse He does not want to do that for you.