Choosing Friends for Important Reasons

by Bethany

Highlighted Text: Prov. 28: 7
Full Text: Prov. 28; 2 Thess. 2
Photo of the Day: #TPFperspective 

Friends | In A Wrinkle in Time, when popular Calvin meets nerdy Meg and her family, he finally has true friends: “I feel as though I were just being born! I’m not alone anymore! Do you realize what that means to me?” Meg, however, is confused: “But you’re good at basketball and things. You’re good in school. Everybody likes you.” He surprisingly responds, “For all the most unimportant reasons” [1].

Influence | According to Proverbs, the wise and godly pay attention to who their friends are. They recognize that there can be friends for important and unimportant reasons. They know that sometimes people only love you for your money, power, beauty or popularity. The wise and godly also know that their friends have a great influence on them – even subconsciously – so they intentionally surround themselves with true friends, knowing that friends can be both good and bad, blessings and snares.

Warning | Proverbs warns us not to desire the company of evil people [2]. Specifically, for example, it warns us not to hang out with gluttons: “The one who keeps the law is a son with understanding, but a companion of gluttons shames his father” [3]. Parents recognize the importance of friends. That’s why they tell their kids not to fall into “the wrong crowd.” Yet it’s not just children that must pay attention when making friends. Adults, too, must be careful because none of us is beyond the age of influence.

Tension | Does this mean that we shouldn’t hang out with unbelievers or less “mature” Christians? Not at all! It does mean, however, that we recognize the tension that, on the one hand, we are called to be true friends to all and share the gospel and, on the other hand, we are called to heed the warning that the people we befriend will influence us [4].

Prayer | Lord, You alone are our true and ultimate friend. Jesus gave his life for us while we were yet sinners [5] and said, “No longer do I call you servants … but I have called you friends” [6]. Wanting to be like him, we long to spend time with you in prayer and community. In these times, give us wisdom to be good friends and to choose good friends. Make us intentional in our friendships and let us love one another for important reasons that are founded on our identity in you and our desire to grow in faith and love [7]. Amen.

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Footnotes

[1] L’Engle, Madeleine (2010-04-01). A Wrinkle in Time (Kindle Locations 833-839). Macmillan. Kindle Edition.  |  [2] Prov. 24:1 ESV  |  [3] Prov. 28:7 ESV. See also Prov. 29:3 (avoid being a companion of prostitutes as well).  |  [4] See also 1 Cor. 15:33 (“Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.’” ESV).  |  [5] See Rom. 5:8  |  [6] John 15:15 ESV  |  [7] See 843 Acres, Growing Faith and Love Are Essential, Not Optional. April 9, 2012.

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