Managing Life On an Everyday Basis: Building Friendships

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  1. A. God has given you the free will to make your own choices (Deuteronomy 30:19), including your choice of friends.
    1. A friend can be a blessing or a curse.
    2. The company you keep will determine the life you live, because your friends have the power to influence you.
      1. When you choose the right friends, they will empower you to succeed.
      2. Likewise, the wrong friends will empower you to fail.
  2. B. Choose your friends wisely.
    1. A friend will love you at all times, and will be there during the good times and the bad (Proverbs 17:17).
    2. Don’t be deceived, the wrong associations (evil companionships) will corrupt good manners or character (I Corinthians 15:33).
    3. Your character is partly shaped by the people with whom you spend your time.
  3. C. Christians should not be unequally yoked with unbelievers or Christians who are living in a way that opposes God’s Word
    (2 Corinthians 6:14).
    1. What fellowship will a Believer have with an unbeliever?
      1. You should not become yoked or bonded with those who do not stand for what you believe.
      2. When you fellowship with someone, you take part in each other’s life. You impart to one another.
        1. i.            An unbeliever can easily influence a Believer into the ungodly things he or she has left.
      3. God requires us to love everyone, even unbelievers; however, there is a difference between loving them and becoming one with them.
    2. You should not become yoked or bonded with a Christian who is not living in line with God’s Word.
  4. D. Two are better than one, and a threefold cord is not easily broken (Ecclesiastes 4:9 – 12).
    1. Know who your friends are. Here are four characteristics of a true friend.
      1. Friends will partner with you and support you.
      2. Friends lift you up when you’re down.
      3. Friends preserve, keep you covered and look out for you.
      4. Friends protect you and don’t take advantage of you.
  5. E. Do not destroy your friendships by gossiping about one another (Proverbs 17:9, Proverbs 16:28).
    1. A perverse man sows strife and gossip separates friends.
    2. A friendship will fail if Christ is not the center of it.
  6. F. Seven wise points about friends:
    1. Job’s friends came to mourn with him and comfort him (Job 2:11). Do you have a friend who will comfort you when you are in trouble?
    2. A friend is devoted (ardently loyal). This person is willing to change his or her plans for their friends (Job 6:14).
    3. A friend loves you no matter the situation or what you have done. He or she loves you at all times.
    4. A friend speaks constructively even when it hurts, and does not flatter. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful (Proverbs 27:6).
      1. How many relationships have you severed because someone told you the truth? When a friend tells you something hurtful, receive it as correction to help you grow into a better person.
      2. When you are hurt by someone, be careful not to hold unforgiveness. If you do, you give that person power in your life. When you let go, and forgive that person, you gain your power back.
      3. Sometimes the truth may seem hurtful, but when you get over the hurt, you become a better person.
    5. A friend helps you when you are down.
    6. A friend has intimate knowledge of your affairs (John 15:15).
      1. Don’t share personal information with people who haven’t proven themselves to be true friends.
    7. A friend makes life better by giving you good advice. Their counsel comes from the heart (Proverbs 27:9).
  7. G. We can relate all of these characteristics of a friend to Jesus: He is the friend that sticks closer than a brother.
    1. Likewise, look for these characteristics in those you call friends.
    2. Be strong enough to sever any wrong relationships.
    3. Teach your children how to make wise decisions when choosing friends.
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