Friends are a wonderful gift. They can enhance our lives, draw us closer to Christ, and call out our sins in a loving way, helping us grow.
However, friendships can also be toxic. Many people can get hurt by so called “friends” and afterwards are never the same. It can be tough to find and make good friends, as well as know how to be a good friend.
In this post I want to talk about both of those things, and how to honor God in our relationships with our friends. Let’s go!
First off, let’s talk about how to choose and make Godly friends. I believe that as Christians, our closest friends should be Christians who hold similar beliefs as we do. You likely won’t see eye to eye on every topic, but having strong Christians as your closest friends is wise. Scripture says so:
Proverbs 13:20 // One who walks with wise men grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.
1 Corinthians 5:11 // But as it is, I wrote to you not to associate with anyone who is called a brother who is a sexual sinner, or covetous, or an idolater, or a slanderer, or a drunkard, or an extortionist. Don’t even eat with such a person.
1 Corinthians 15:33 // Don’t be deceived! “Evil companionships corrupt good morals.”
Before we go on, I want to make something clear. I am in no way saying to not have non-Christian friends. I believe we are called to be salt and light to this earth (Matthew 5:13-16) and how could we do that without reaching out to those who don’t know Jesus?
These verses make it clear, however, that our close friends, true companions, and people we “walk with”, should be true Christians. If we walk with fools, we will be harmed. We also shouldn’t be associating with those who call themselves Christians YET are living in habitual sins, as mentioned in the second verse.
Evil company corrupts your good morals. If your close friends are non-Christians, then they will most likely try to get you to conform on your morals, even if they do not realize they are doing so. Your lifestyles and worldviews will be very different, and this will harm the friendship.
I also believe that your best friends should be those who are the same gender as you. I’m not saying you can’t have great opposite gender friends – definitely not! I’ve had and currently have some awesome guy friends! However, I believe that our best and closest friends – the ones we go to one on one coffee dates or movies with – should be the same gender as us.
When you’re hanging out with different gender friends, I encourage you to do so in a group setting. This ensures that no one can do anything inappropriate and go unseen or unheard. It’s a safer and better way that will keep temptations and thoughts of romance farther away than if you hung out one-on-one, or in a small group.
If you don’t know many Christian friends, I encourage you to pray and ask God for some strong like-minded friends. Then, go get involved! Go to church, and Bible study/other Christian events with those your age. Sure, there will be rejections at times and not every time you try to make a friend will they become your bestie. Keep trying, keep being friendly and loving to those around you. You’ll make friends as you strive to be a friend!
As for being a good friend, I think it comes down to one thing: being a strong Christian. You can’t pour into someone else if you yourself are empty.
When you are confident in God and in who you are in HIM, then you will be confident in making friends and reaching out! Spend time with God daily, and let His promises refresh your soul. continually fill yourself with God’s Word and Truth, and, by God’s strength, strive to grow daily. This will help you be a more loving and Godly friend.
As for reaching out and being a good friend, here are a few ways to do so!
- Send an encouraging letter to a friend – even ones that live near you! This is a fun way to bring a smile to a friend.
- Send an encouraging text just to let them know you’re thinking of them and ask them how you can pray for them. It makes me smile whenever a friend does this with me.
- Invite your friend/the new person at church to do something fun with you – whether it be going to a movie, or just hanging out and talking.
- If you see a sin in a friend, pray about it, and if you feel God calling you to, lovingly call them out on it. True friends care enough to tell each other about sins they see in one another, in a peaceful and loving way.
- Find ways you can do outreach together. One time me and 4 friends made bags for a nursing home and delivered them, and it was a wonderful time. You could regularly have a day where you do random acts of kindness, or you could plan one outreach project every month or two! Get your friends together and shine God’s light – you could even start a group and have your church announce about it to let others know about it.
- Study God’s Word together! One time a friend and I got together for lunch and discussed the topic of “fear” and it was such a rich and fun discussion! Studying God’s Word is so much fun and can be so wonderful with others. It helps keep your conversation on what truly matters.
I hope this post has encouraged you in choosing and making Godly friends, as well as being a Godly friend yourself!
- Do you know any Godly friends? What sticks out to you about them and shows you that they truly love God?
- How can you strive to be a better friend? Which of the tips was your favorite?