True friendship is beautiful. The types of friendships we choose can feed into our character, aid us with our purpose and so much more. Instead of denying the power of friendship and its ability to shape our lives, we need to be aware of it. This article will explore how the people closest to us have a tremendous impact on our lives, both good and bad.
Our Chosen family
Honestly, a good friendship is a gift from God and another reminder that we were not made to live this life alone in isolation, we are called to spur one another onto love and good works (Hebrews 10:24). Where possible we should encourage and counsel one another and help each other to walk in obedience (1 Thessalonians 5:11; proverbs 15:22).
- Daniel and his Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Daniel 1, 3 and 6).
- Daniel and his friends were known for “setting themselves apart” and not conforming. From their diet, to who they worshipped and when they prayed. They held each other accountable and sharpened one another.
- David and Jonathan (1 Samuel 18: 1-5).
- Jonathan loved David as he loved his soul. Pause. Read that again. Is that kind of love possible?! In this passage Jonathan gave David his royal robe, armour, and sword for battle. Jonathan’s love for David was not envious or self-seeking, like that of Corinthians 13.
- The love and loyalty shown by Jonathan to David was reaped by Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth (2 Samuel 9), the fruit of a friendship can pour into the next generation.
- Ruth and Naomi (Ruth 1)
- Whilst Ruth started off as Naomi’s daughter-in-law connected initially by marriage only, Ruth choosing to follow Naomi to Bethlehem showed sisterhood and friendship. Naomi had become Ruth’s “chosen family”.
- “For wherever you go, I will go” Ruth 1:16-17, Ruth is what we’d call “a ride or die” or a “a keeper”. There will be some friends who do depart along your journey after serving their time like Orpah, but there will be some who will journey with you into your next season like Ruth. It is important to discern the two.
Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future
Now above are some enriching and fruitful friendships, which hopefully are all able to experience during our lifetime. However, there are two sides to the friendship spectrum, there are some friendships and some company we keep that can corrupt our character and negatively influence our behaviour.
- Samson and Delilah (Judges 16).
- Whilst Delilah was not Samson’s friend, she was in his company and had a significant influence on him. So much so he lost his life and did not fulfil His God given purpose.
- Haman’s and King Xerxes (Esther 3).
- Haman was a chief advisor to the King, his role was to provide sound advice to the king, instead he allowed the power of his new role to get to his head and created a decree for the Israelites to be killed!
- The King did not originally have these intentions but appointed someone who did, we must pray to have spiritual vision and ask God to expose desires/motives in people that are not clear to the natural eye.
- King Solomon and foreign women (1 Kings 11:1-2).
- Again, these foreign women that King Solomon spent time with were not his friends, but they were in his company and corrupted his character. Corrupted his vision and in the end in his life.
- His heart turned from the Lord, and he committed sin the sight of the Lord serving other gods.
- As a result, God said He would tear the Kingdom away from Him BUT not in his lifetime but rather his son’s, so his son would not inherit what was rightfully his. He instead would reap the repercussions of his father’s disobedience.
I think it has become pretty clear that we need to choose our company wisely. Whilst we can be “friendly” with everyone, not everyone should have the title of friend or should be able to speak into your life. We need people to uplift and empower us along our journey and not those who will distract and derail us.
- Relational intelligence by Dharius Daniels
- Friends-ish – Kelly Needham