Life is a series of decisions. Knowing how to choose friends is one of most important skills you'll ever develop. Your friends help shape your life because of their strong influence.

Therefore, it is important to choose the right friends.

  1. God has given us spiritual guidelines to help us make the right choices (Deuteronomy 30:19).
    1. Once we know what is in God's Word, we can begin to make choices in line with His will.
    2. We have the ability to make our own choices.

  2. Examine your relationships.
    1. Choosing good friendships is essential to your well-being.
      1. The right friend can be a blessing (Proverbs 17:17).
        1. A good friend knows how to empower you for success.
      2. The wrong friend can be a curse (Proverbs 12:26).
        1. You must make the decision to cut off any relationship that isn't productive.
        2. Examine your associations with those who walk in opposition to God's Word, because their influence will cause you to go astray.

  3. Christians should not be unequally yoked with any person, whether Christian or non-Christian who is living in a way that opposes God's Word (2 Corinthians 6:14-18).
    1. Evil communication corrupts good character (1 Corinthians 15:33).
      1. You cannot be in companionship with evil, wicked people if you want to remain pure before God.
        1. Wickedness is twisted truth.
        2. Wicked people are people who do things that oppose the Word of God.
      2. If you want to live right, you will have to keep the right company.
    2. Many Christian people feel it is okay to be in fellowship with unsaved people, or Believers who are not living according to the Word. These
      people cannot be your companions, associates or intimate friends.
    3. You are known by the company you keep (Proverbs 13:20).
      1. You need to be selective about who you spend time with; you can't be everybody's friend.
        1. Loyalty must choose sides.
        2. You will either choose God or the world's way of doing things.
    4. Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers, especially when you are considering marriage.
      1. How can you be one with someone who doesn't believe what you believe?
      2. Fellowship is derived from the word participation. The root word of participation is part.
        1. When you fellowship with someone, they have a part and you have a part-a give and take. What can you impart into and receive from an unbeliever?
      3. The Bible tells us to separate ourselves from unbelievers
        (2 Corinthians 6:17).
        1. It is impossible to live a holy life when you are in fellowship with ungodly people (Psalm 1:1-5).
        2. Your friendship with the world hinders your relationship with the Father. You need relationships that enhance your relationship with God.
        3. Don't be so desperate for relationships that you accept anyone into your life because you are lonely.
        4. Don't form friendships with people that stand against everything you believe.

  4. Friend is a covenant word.
    1. Abraham was God's friend (2 Chronicles 20:7, James 2:23).
      1. Abraham was not referred to as a friend of God until a covenant was established between them.
      2. A covenant is a pledge, vow or agreement to carry out the terms agreed upon that can only be broken by death.
    2. Most people in your life should be referred to as associates.
      1. Friendship is born out of a commitment you've made with one another.
        1. Are you the only one giving in your relationships?
        2. Reassess your relationships.
      2. Friendship is always looking for ways to give back into the relationship.
        1. Ask yourself: Why does this person want to be your friend?
      3. Real friendship will exchange weaknesses for strengths (Proverbs 27:17).
    3. The Bible is in support of relationships because two are stronger than one (Ecclesiastes 4:9, 10).
    4. Do you have someone in your life who will give up their desires for you (John 15:13, 14)?

  5. There are three levels of friendship.
    1. The tabernacle consists of the outer court, inner court and holy of holies (behind the veil).
      1. Outer court: casual relationship
      2. Inner court: close relationship
      3. Holy of holies: intimate relationship in which you and the other person are vulnerable to one another
        1. You are the most vulnerable when there is intimacy between you.
        2. Behind the veil relationships are for a select few people. A person should earn the right to have this kind of relationship with you.
      4. Determine which friends should be in your outer court, inner court and holy of holies.
      5. Don't allow someone who has demonstrated they are an outer court friend into your inner court or holy of holies.
    2. Don't make plans based on someone's promises. Be patient enough to see if a person is willing to prove him or herself to be faithful.

  6. You cannot be friends with the world and God (James 4:4).
    1. God's love for you is a jealous love.
    2. God will fight for what belongs to Him.
    3. God yearns for you and won't stand there and watch you pursue an abusive or ungodly relationship.

  7. Beware of ungodly brethren (1 Corinthians 5:9).
    1. Beware of having a relationship with immoral people, even if they call themselves Christians.
    2. Withdraw yourself from people who are committed to rebellion.
      1. A tree is committed to the ground in which it is planted.
      2. A person who refuses to repent is committed to rebellion.
    3. Don't keep company with people who habitually fornicate and are not committed to changing their behavior.
    4. There is a difference between one who misses the mark and a person who has decided they don't want to change and are committed to sin.
      1. Restore those who miss the mark.
    5. Stick with people who are committed to pursuing godliness.
      1. Move away from people who refuse to repent
        (turn away from ungodly behavior).
    6. Do not maintain friendships with ungodly Christians.
      1. Their behavior will rub off on you.
    7. The sin you fail to judge yourself of; will be responsible for your downfall.

Scripture References:

  • Deuteronomy 30:19
  • Proverbs 17:17
  • Proverbs 12:26
  • 1 Corinthians 6:14-18
  • Proverbs 13:20
  • 2 Corinthians 6:15:33
  • Psalm 1:1 - 5
  • 2 Chronicles 20:7
  • James 2:23
  • Proverbs 27:17
  • Ecclesiastes 4:9, 10
  • John 15:13, 14
  • James 4:4
  • 1 Corinthians 5:9
Pastor Robert Bagonza
Redeemed Church