Ouch…… where to start.. I have been wondering which friends are best for me for years. Best friends for life ?
Reminds me of the famous quote “friends in need are friends indeed” Oh my my, how often I have been fishing for them and instead ended up with a bunch of hypocrites and some shallow ones when I needed a shoulder to cry, a hand to support me. Are you familiar with them, if not then you are blessed.
Past mistakes help us make better choices in future. Lately things changed when I asked the Lord to guide me and lead me to the right one.
What about you? Have you many friends or any ?
Which ones’ you think are better, none believers or Christians..?
I have met many who said “I don’t have any friends, cause I don’t trust them”
Some say, “I have not got any, I am lonely but I have God”, I thought “wow” that’s deep and so true….
Some say “God is my friend” Am not sure if I can agree to that though, I would be more comfortable with Him as my Father. Simply by fear of the Lord, you can choose to disagree.
Some say ,”I have both good and bad friends”… I thought is there such a thing as a bad friend ?
Friend supposed to be good ?
Some say “I have both none believers and atheist friends and friends from different religion and faith” Sounds like a cocktail of friends to me.
Then how do we know who are we supposed to be really friends with ? My brother Mikhail told me last week, “there is no friends in Christianity, we are brothers and sisters in the body of Christ”
In short, God wants believers to dwell in union and in community having the same mind that is in Jesus Christ (Phil 2:1-11). I hope to provide Bible verses that establish this fact.
Psalm 133:1 “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!” It does not say when friends dwell in unity.
Jesus did not address us as friends, He Himself said “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother. (Matt 12:50).
God created animals to be our friends…. interesting. I remember playing with toys and animals as a child..
Brother Mikhail says “children will play with animals, its in the bible.”
I realised he was referring to the scripture below.
NTL (Isaiah 11:18)The baby will play safely near the hole of a cobra. Yes, a little child will put its hand in a nest of deadly snakes without harm.
I like pets, am sure you do too.. we play with them, we find them entertaining and amusing and a good companion. God knew what we need.
Now let’s come back to friends.
So what do we do with our relationship with the people or so called “friends” that surround our world, our work, our environment ?
Friends are supposed to be good for you. It is noted that people who have strong friendships experience less stress, they recover more quickly from heart attacks and they are likely to live longer than the loners. I even hear they are even less susceptible to the common cold, studies show in the states ?? Friendship can also be very painful too if you lose that best friend or share his/her loss.
But not all friends are good. Some lie, manipulate, use, insult and betray. Some are overly needy. Some think they know it all (full of pride) and always know what is best for you and end up giving too much advice. Often more words than actions. Those one to avoid especially when you are married with children… Peer pressure and wrong friendship can cost you your marriage and children or even your life.. I am sure you have come across those toxic relationships.
Please pray for your family and children not to be caught up with the toxic ones as they are simply toxic…..
That is why we need to be discerning before getting into a friendship, because the Bible says…
“Bad company corrupts good character.”(1 Corinthians 15:33)
Whereas a good friend can have many qualities such as caring, loving, kind, positive attitude and energy and so on…
I don’t believe there is such thing as best friend as no one is perfect, but we can have a good reliable friend. That to me define a friendship, a person I can look to, a person that will support me and BRING the best out of me, someone that will help me GROW………..physically, mentally and spiritually.
That is very hard to find but not impossible with Jesus. A good friend can stick closer than your family, and often know you better. They will always remember you in their prayer before you ask them to pray for you. You become a part of them. So you automatically form part of that prayer. Double blessing, bring it on…….yes….
They encourage you especially when your faith is weak. They make time for you when life falls apart, and they rejoice with you when all is well. Let’s have a party……boogie boogie
So the question is does it matter if my good friend is a Christian or a believer ?
YES it does for so many reasons.. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong in having friends from other faith and you should surely CHERISH them but if you want to GROW, you have to surround yourself with those that share the same seed. I will not get apple fruits if I mix myself with seeds of grapes as much as they are juicy too…
Can you imagine wanting to share some of your Christian walk with a non believer and referring to a specific scripture or sharing your experiences with the Holy Spirit and they look at you thinking “what on earth are you on about, probably thinking you are crazy” or they simply cannot relate to you. You would feel like a lost chick… won’t you? I have been there and I felt so out of place despite I tried hard as they simply cannot connect with me unless if my experience is exciting enough to make that person wanting to experience the same or if it is God’s willing as not everybody fits in the book of life.
Whereas imagine I share an experience of God with another Christian friend, He will most likely be excited and say ” Oh yes, did you feel the Holy Spirit, did you receive a prophetic word for you or me,” And you would be so comfortable that you can talk to someone who knows what you are experiencing. Is it worth having friends just for the sake of it, to please them so that I am loved in return or trying to be social, or simply having many followers on twitter/Facebook ? The more, the better, the more famous I become? Or are they not going to disappoint me or lead me to a pit or a world away from God.
Now you know what I am on about. Do you agree ?
Think of the scripture below:
“I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10)
So if I want to remain a servant of Christ, I am better off sticking to those who are already following Christ. There is no better place to start than this.
Hebrews 10:23-25 ESV
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
Galatians 6:2 ESV
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
Hence the Christian friendship is fundamental in my growth, it’s true my entire growth of course does not depend on just the friendship alone, I first need the Holy Spirit for that, but true Christians friends will help to build my character, shape my learning path and journey with Christ which is the ultimate goal…
So I need a Christian Friendship/fellowship
Sadly, not all Christians act like a true member of the Body of Christ as much as you would expect. They are a very welcoming invitation for satan often unknowingly.
Some say they met hypocrite Christians, greedy ones, argumentative, frustrating, disappointing, selfish ones, self -centered, religious ones and jealous ones who want what you have instead of rejoicing with what God blessed you with. Those who only like to receive their portion of your small pizza without contributing any. My mum often asks me, are church people not meant to be better than the unbelievers? You would expect so but reality portrays a different picture of some Christians.
” Are you familiar with some of them ” ?
Now are you surprised why Jesus said in Luke 13:27- ” I tell you , I do not know where you from. Depart from me you evildoers “
Mathew 7:21 ” Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy your name, and cast out demons”
Let ‘s look at a bible scripture: James 4:7 ” surrender to God, resist the devil and the devil will flee from you”. God knew by our own we won’t get far, He comes to rescue us, give Him your struggle and He will carry it for you.
2. Someone that will enhance my joy and love for God.
It is good to have fun together through fellowship, socialising etc. but the greatest joy will come when we share God together, a deeper connection. Oh happy days, happy days. We were made for Him. And like any other joy, our joy in God will be at its fullest when we share it with other people. God’s presence brings blessings, so imagine being surrounded by spirit filled Christian friends that help us to enjoy God’s presence with us. We also need our friends to show us compassion when we have not reached their level.
Galatians 6:1 NIV: “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.
3. True friends will not judge me, discipline me but expose my sins in order to bring me on the right path with God.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy. (Proverbs 27:6)
Sin deceives us and that’s what satan wants. Keep it hidden, no one will know… It blinds us so much so that we may be walking in sin and convinced that we are obeying God (think of the Pharisees). If we are failing to hear from the conviction of the Holy Spirit, then God will try speak to us through our Christian friends.
We need friends to help us see our blind spots, our mistakes. We need friends to be brave enough to be honest with us, the truth hurts but it will set us about ourselves even when we don’t want to hear it or are in denial..
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” ( John 8:32)
We are not going to grow if we always want our friends to tell us what we want to hear or be in agreement with us and give us false hope that we can grow closer to God without daily repentance. Sin is a poison to our souls and a thief of our joy in God. When we are wrong, we wrong, let’s swallow our pride and accept defeat. The bible says the truth will set you free. The truth hurts but it will set you free. The same way a parent will discipline his child, the same way we expect those who cherish us to expose us when we are wrong. Be direct. Your friend will tell you what you need to hear not what you hope and want to hear. Amen
4. True friends encourage us to obey and respect God. Have the fear of the Lord..
That will make you think twice before you sin. Prevention is better than cure. As a child, you fear your parents, fear of being punished. Same principle when you fear your father God, you will think before you act.
Now fear and obedience goes side by side. So if We disobey, we need our friend to help us see any disobedience, we also need them to remind us to stay obedient to our creator. Often, obedience to God takes more courage than we can muster alone. Without the faithful encouragement of Christian friends surrounding us, we can easily drift back. We affirm that our obedience glorifies God and counts in eternity. We want Jesus to say ” well done, faithful servant” ( Matthew 25:23)
5. True friends bring us to God in our weakness.
Behold, some men were bringing on a bed a man who was paralyzed, and they were seeking to bring him in and lay him before Jesus, but finding no way to bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the midst before Jesus. (Luke 5:18–19)
Walking through life in this fallen world, with our sin-ridden flesh, against a damn hell-bent enemy, is too hard to be attempted alone. Although a lot of have tried the journey in our own, deliberately or not. I tried it on my own partly out of pride and independence, partly I felt I had no choice and not enough maturity. This often leads to failure.
Alone, we easily believe the lies of Satan and fall in his trap as there is no one to guide us and we grow discouraged and weary. Like the paralytic referred in the scripture above, we need the help of other believers to carry us to God. To remind us He who in us is greater than he who is in the world.
So, how can we bring others to God? We listen to a sister/brother confess a hidden sin and wash her with the truth that Christ has cleansed her and made her whole. We come in agreement in prayers.
Mathew 18:20 NIV: ” when two or three are gathered in My Name, there Am I with them”
We can meet the practical needs of those enduring intense suffering and still waiting for their breakthrough in Jesus’s name. Or we can simply bring our friends to God in prayer, asking him to do greater things in their lives than we can do for them. We help to reinforce and strengthen their faith in God.
6.True friends love us first for the glory of God as His children.
Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)
True friends love us without expectations. They reflect Christ in their life and help us to reflect the same light Christ, shining in the glory of God.
Like everything else, the end goal of our friendships should be ultimately God and His glory. Since our hearts are prone to wander away and worship and idolize other things, we need these constant reminders of His glory and His Worth through our fellowship and friendship.
Christians friends will help us stir the passion for Christ, centered us around God, basking in His presence and help us grow to matured Christians and lead a successful and spirit filled life on earth no matter how long it takes or where the journey leads on the way until the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
7. True friends will give me time and a word of wisdom.
Usually their advice will flourish out of wisdom blessed by God Himself.
Proverbs 28:26 ESV :Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.
I believe Wisdom will enhance my quality of friends, not necessary my quantity of friends. True friends will also have time for me both in good and bad times, an ear that will listen attentively and caringly, for our fellowship to grow in the body of Christ. Amen.
Thank you Jesus.