How do you choose who your friends are? Do they build you up causing you to grow in your faith? Are they there when your hurting, an ear to listen to your feelings? Or are they the kind of people who drag you down the wrong kind of roads? Inviting you to parties that will cause you to sin, taking you places that you don’t need to be? Maybe they talk about other people tearing them apart, gossiping and telling lies, these ‘friends’ will slowly but surly drag you down and get you in trouble.
“Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.”
Proverbs 13:20 NLT
Jesus didn’t surround Himself with people of religious stature. He found twelve men who showed faith to leave everything and follow Him. He was steadfast in His mission so that even when they tried innocently or with other intentions to distract him, he was able to bring them back to the mission.
How does one know if a friend is building or distracting your walk with Jesus? Some things to look for;
- How do you feel after an outing with them? Do you feel built up and encouraged or dirty about what you did or talked about?
- How does you friend respond when you bring up your relationship with Jesus? Do you have meaningful conversations, or do they change the subject quickly or become argumentative?
- Think about what you did with your friend. Would it be cool if Jesus was actually physically there hanging out? Would he be shocked or smiling? Don’t kid yourself he is there maybe not physically, but he is there.
We need to have unbelieving friends, don’t get me wrong. But they can’t be bringing us down, we need to be light to them, connecting as to share the love of Jesus with them. Many have unbelieving friends for years with out sharing your faith. They may know about it but you have never taken the time to truly tell them why it is important to you and should be important to them. This is what Jesus talked about when he said we shouldn’t put our light under a basket.
Jesus, we all have friends who need you. Give us the moments to finally take the time to share your love with them. Maybe they know or don’t know about our faith by now is the time for us to open our hearts to them. Let us be an example of your love to them. They matter to you, they matter to us, so let’s start doing something about it. Amen