One Ministry, One Church, One Message Worldwide
Our friends are important to us, and the friendships we make profoundly impact our quality of life. Different people can have different attitudes and values, however, and keeping company with the wrong kind of person can actually negatively impact us. Most of us have seen the results of a bad decision someone made because of the influence of others around them. God is well aware of the trouble we can get into when we enter a wrong relationship, which is why He gave us His Word in this area.
Not everyone has our best interests at heart, and if we’re too hasty in choosing friends we can find ourselves in a toxic relationship. When we spend a significant amount of time with someone, eventually their attitudes can become ours. “Become wise by walking with the wise; hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces” (Proverbs 13:20, MSG). If we let other people’s wrong-thinking impair our good judgment, that can cause us to make foolish decisions that are not in line with our character.
The people we surround ourselves with can either help or hurt us. Whether they know it or not, they contribute either to our success or failure. The advice our friends offer can either propel us forward or hold us back. “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character’ ” (1 Corinthians 15:33, NIV). If we don’t choose wisely, we can open ourselves up to needless frustration and disappointment.
Some people are angry at the world, and their anger shows through in everything they say and do. It’s in our best interest to stay away from these types of people and the emotional issues they can bring. “Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul” (Proverbs 22:24, 25). Getting involved with someone else’s endless drama drags us down with them and destroys our peace of mind. Life is too short for that!
Sometimes there’s no way for us to know everything that’s going on in someone else’s head, or whether it’s a good idea to allow them into our inner circle. The only way to stay safe emotionally and spiritually is to prayerfully ask God to lead and direct us to the relationships He wants us to have. Godly friendships refresh our souls and bring us joy. “Oil and perfume rejoice the heart; so does the sweetness of a friend’s counsel that comes from the heart” (Proverbs 27:9, AMPC). True friends are a gift from God.
Fostering virtuous, upright friendships is good for our emotional and mental outlook. It helps us stay positive and make quality decisions. We steer clear of forming unhealthy relationships when we rely on God’s guidance; trusting in our own judgment can lead us astray. “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 14:12).
To be righteous is to be excellent, morally right, and ethical, which is what God wants in all our relationships. Associating with the wrong friends brings us grief and trouble, but keeping company with the right individuals brings us peace. “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24, NIV). The choice is ours, which is why we must choose with care.