Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” ~1 Corinthians 15:33 (NKJV)

“One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” ~Proverbs 18:24

“My intercessor is my friend as my eyes pour out tears to God; on behalf of a man he pleads with God as one pleads for a friend.” ~Job 16:20-21

“If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” ~Ecclesiastes 4:10

Hi friends,

There is something special about friendship. Friends bring comfort and joy to one’s life, mine included. I have some of the dearest friends a person could be blessed with, and I am grateful for their companionship and willingness to encourage me when times get tough (and I hope I do the same for them). But we have to be careful about the company we keep because not all “friends” mean well, and not all “friends” are for our benefit and spiritual growth. Here are some of my observations these last 48 years of life:

  1. A good friend will have your back.
  2. A good friend will be honest.
  3. A good friend will pray with you and for you.
  4. A good friend will not demean you.
  5. A good friend will shun evil and will encourage you to shun it as well.
  6. A good friend will listen.
  7. A good friend will not only think about himself/herself in a situation.
  8. A good friend will be wise and thoughtful.

There are so many other attributes to what makes a good friend, but I wanted to focus on what makes a good and Godly friend. There are some friends who may have some of these qualities, but if they have a love of the world or they do not place a priority in their walk with God, then I am cautious in pursuing closeness with them. Why? As the verses above indicate (and there are many other verses about quality friendships in the Bible), there is something to be said for the company we keep. One example: For awhile in my young adult years (newly married), I hung around with someone who cursed frequently. They said they were Christians, and they occasionally went to church. At first, the coarse language bothered me, but she was so fun and full of life, that I set aside my discomfort. It wasn’t long before I started slipping discolored words into my vocabulary. Then, because she was a smoker, I started to dabble in the occasional cigarette. It wasn’t long before I was smoking routinely and encouraging other friends (church friends) to pick up the habit too. Instead of me being a good influence on my friend and others, I found that her bad habits had trickled into my own life.

As an educator, I’ve watched similar situations time-and-time again. Students will often change so that they better fit with the company they keep. Think about your own life. Was there a person who called himself/herself your “friend,” yet they negatively affected you more than they helped?

The Bible says to be careful of who we hang around because it affects us in profound ways. I had a so-called “friend” who was displeased with the church we attended. It didn’t take long for me to start complaining about the church, and in time, my husband started complaining about the church. This is why it’s important to be careful who we hang around. Negative behavior, negative thought-patterns, negative emotions spread like a contagion.

On the plus side, look at what the Bible says a good “friend” will do: they will pray for you, lift you up, stick closer than a brother, lay down their lives for you (this doesn’t necessarily mean dying; it means sacrificing for you and protecting you by giving of themselves), helps each other through difficult situations. Those are the kind of friends worth keeping! Now, this doesn’t mean we should be mean or unempathetic of those whose worldview is different than ours. We should treat everyone with love and grace. However, that doesn’t mean we have to be in their company on a consistent basis.

So, what are some characteristics that you look for in a good “friend?” Post your thoughts below!

I’m thankful for ALL of you! Hugs,