“Choose your friends wisely.”
Has anyone ever said that to you? Perhaps a parent, a grandparent, or maybe a teacher or pastor? There is a lot of truth to that statement. It is important that, as we go through life, we make wise choices in the area of friends. The friends we choose can say a lot about our own character. We want to choose friends who share our values, friends who will build us up and will not bring us down. True friends, the kind of friends that it is wise to choose, are the type of friends spoken of by the writer of Proverbs 27:17, who wrote, “As iron sharpens iron, so a person sharpens his friend.” Solomon wrote that a friend loves at all times (Proverbs 17:17) and said that there is a friend who will stick closer to you than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). Friendship, true friendship, is important, and so is our choice of friends.
In John 15:13, Jesus said, “No one has greater love than this—that one lays down his life for his friends.” That is the truest test of friendship. The best friend we could have is one who is willing to lay down his life for us. So, when it comes to choosing friends, the best friend that we could possibly have is Jesus. He is a friend who loves at all times. Jesus is a friend who sticks closer to us than a brother. Jesus is a friend who will always build us up and never bring us down. And Jesus is also a friend who not only was willing to lay down His life for us, but actually did so. When we do as Jesus commands, when we turn from our sin and follow in His ways, we can count Jesus as a friend (John 15:14-15). So, if we are truly wise in choosing our friends, we will choose friendship with Jesus and with those who are committed to following Him, and we will steer clear of those who follow the ways of the world, seeking the desires of the flesh.
When we choose to remain in sin, to walk in the ways of the world rather than in the ways of Jesus, we are choosing friendship with the world. And when we choose friendship with the world, following the desires of the flesh, our sin makes us enemies of God. James 4:4 says, “do you not know that friendship with the world means hostility toward God? So whoever decides to be the world’s friend makes himself God’s enemy.” But thankfully, God gives to the humble grace that is greater than sin (James 4:6). When we humble ourselves before Him, when we submit to Him and resist sin and the devil, the devil will flee (James 4:7). We are then able to draw near to God and He will draw near to us (James 4:8). Our friendship is restored.
Choose your friends wisely. Do not choose friendship with the world and its wicked ways. Choose friendship with God through Jesus Christ, the friend who laid down His life for all of us. Choose friendship with those who seek to follow Jesus and will help you to do the same.
Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NET) are from The NET Bible®
Copyright © 2005 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. www.netbible.com
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Biblical Studies Press. (2005). The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible. Biblical Studies Press.