Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Friendships Part 1

In light of my last post titled, "The Goal", I've decided to look at friendships and what the bible has to say about them.

Proverbs 18:24 says, A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

This is a verse I use with my kids whenever they are going into a situation where they don't know anyone. I tell them to be friendly so that they will make friends.

What should we look for in a friend? In order to find this out lets look at Jesus and see how He chose friends. There are a few things we know:

1) He prayed every morning for the Fathers direction. God directed Him to the men he was supposed to become friends with. (The 12 disciples)

2) Jesus only chose friends who were Christians. They had to believe in Him before they could be close friends. (See Matthew 4:18-21)

As far as I can tell these were the only two things He looked for in friends, having God's approval and making sure they believed. Based on these two criteria, we can evaluate those we are close friends with.

I am not implying that you shouldn't be involved with non-believers. Jesus was chastised for eating with the worst of sinners!

Matthew 11:19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners.

The fact is that He chose believers to be His close friends, you know, the 12. So we should have two groups of friends, those whom we associate with, and those we hold close to us, as confidants. It's kind of like not being unequally yoked together with unbelievers. Jesus takes friendships seriously.

Let's look at Matthew 12:48-49 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!

The world says, "blood is thicker than water", but according to this verse, Jesus' blood is the strongest bond of all!

So now we know what the bible says about choosing friends, on Friday we'll look at what to expect of these friendships.

If you have an opinion on this post, I'd love to hear it. As I was typing it, I could feel that there may be controversy on the idea that our close friendships should only be with Christians, and I welcome your comments.


Chatty Kelly said...

But where can I buy friendly shoes? "Shew himself friendly."

Okay, I'm kidding on that part. I think you are on the right track. The bible says we should be in the world, not of the world...and not "friends" of the world. However, we are called to be salt & light - to who? Those who don't have the light.

As with nearly every Christian principal, I believe this requires a balancing act. We must go into the world to be light to the world by being friendly, showing them Jesus. And you try not to give up on them. You continue to be a friend and shine a light.

But you cannot be the one converted to the "worlds" ways. And that is where your Christian friends come in to inspire, lift up and hold you accountable.

Where kids are involved, I think you need to have stricter guidelines until they are mature enough to handle temptations of the world.

Truth4thejourney said...

Thank you Kelly,

I totally agree, especially on the part of being extremely careful with our childrens choices of friends.

The Patterson 5 said...

Prayer is crucial in all of our relationships especially friendship where we share personal heart felt emotions with our friends. If Jesus needed to pray to the Father about his friendships then wow, how much more so should we! Thanks for this inspriational message! I am glad to call you, Friend!

The Patterson 5 said...

Really good blog today.. It has me thinking... I had to come back! Praying for discernment in our friendship choices while allowing ourselves to be the light and salt of the world to draw others into a relationship with Christ. Opening our homes, hearts and parts of our lives to unbelievers could be the key to bring them in. I think of CK opening her home, her church, her circle of friends, welcoming all nonbelievers and believers alike to bible study. Many close friendships were developed. Many new sisters for Christ. Many women's lives eternally changed because of her openess and willingness to share! My life would be totally different had she not put out a hand and welcomed me into Christian fellowship. I'd still be a believer but would I still have a relationship with Christ?

Truth4thejourney said...

Thank you Patterson 5 for you openness. It is critical that we share Jesus' light with others and we do that primarily through fellowship. Then, when we see them enter into salvation, that's when we can bring them into our hearts and lives as true friends. Jesus friends (the 12) didn't start out as believers, they had to make that decision when He invited them to come and follow Him. :) I'm glad you were a life changed by Kelly's light! Praise God!

Rhen @yestheyareallmine said...

Fantastic post! I urge my children to be friendly with everyone. You never know who God is going to bring into your life that day. But, they must also be careful at whom they hold to them as their dear friends. I want them to have friends who edify and support through God's love. That helps to give strength to reach out to others.