A sister in Christ asked if we could talk about this topic. What an important issue! 🙂

The Bible has a lot to say about how we are to choose our friendships and with whom we should closely associate. It also has a lot to say about people we should avoid. We are to love all people with God’s unconditional love. We are to treat all others with honor, dignity, and respect.  But we will become like those with whom we most closely associate. And even if we do not become more like them, other people will think we are like them and that we have the same priorities and morals as those with whom we closely associate. So God gives us wise counsel about how to choose friends that will honor Him. (Of course, we should also seek to be godly friends to others, as well, so these qualifications apply to how we act, too.)

AVOID PEOPLE WHO:

  • talk too much (Proverbs 20:19)
  • participate in gossip and slander (Proverbs 20:19)
  • have uncontrollable, hasty tempers (Proverbs 22:24)
  • are divisive and create enmity and contention (Titus 3:10)
  • say they are believers in Christ but live in sexual sin, are greedy, are swindlers, are idolators, are  (1 Corinthians 5:11)
  • are selfish (Proverbs 23:6)
  • live for pleasure (Romans 13:12-14)
  • those who put things other than Christ on the throne in their lives (2 Corinthians 6:14)
  • are foolish (Proverbs 13:7)
  • are dishonest and deceitful (Psalm 26:4-5)
  • are robbers, violent, or scoff and mock against God (Proverbs 16:29, Proverbs 19:29)
  • are adulterers (Proverbs 5:8)
  • lead unruly lives (2 Thessalonians 3:6)
  • love sin (Proverbs 4:14)
  • are gluttons (Proverbs 28:7)
  • love the world and the things of the world and are enemies of God (James 4:4)
  • call evil good and good evil (Isaiah 5:20)
  • pursue worthless things (Proverbs 12:11)
  • give full vent to their spirits (Proverbs 29:11)
  • are prideful (Proverbs 11:2)
  • hate godly wisdom and instruction (Proverbs 1:7)

EMBRACE PEOPLE WHO:

  • have godly wisdom (Proverbs 13:20)
  • hold back from verbalizing unproductive or destructive words (Proverbs 29:11)
  • are humble before God and want to learn and grow in wisdom (Proverbs 1:5, Proverbs 11:2)
  • have a healthy fear and reverence for God (Proverbs 1:7)
  • have the fruit of the Spirit of God – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23)
  • love God with all their hearts, minds, souls, and strength (Matthew 22:36-40)
  • love others deeply and sincerely with the unconditional love of Christ (Matthew 22:36-40)
  • cherish honesty (Proverbs 12:22)
  • are quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry (James 1:19)
  • are willing to admit wrong and apologize and who want to make things right (Matthew 5:23-24)
  • have discretion about not saying sinful things (Proverbs 3:21)
  • desire to know, love, and obey Jesus more than anything (John 14:22-24)
  • die to themselves and submit as fully as they know how to Christ as Lord (Matthew 16:24)
  • are willing to forsake the world and endure suffering and persecution by people in order to be friends of God (James 4:4)
  • are thankful (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
  • have integrity (Proverbs 11:3)
  • hate sin and evil (Psalm 97:10)
  • store up treasures for themselves in heaven (Matthew 6:20)
  • love God’s Word (Psalm 119:105)
  • praise and give glory to God in all they do (Colossians 3:17)
  • handle God’s Word rightly (2 Timothy 2:15)
  • are sober and of sound mind (1 Peter 4:7)
  • are people of fervent prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

 

MORE VERSES TO CONSIDER:

  • Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17
  • Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”  1 Corinthians 15:33
  • Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. Proverbs 13:20
  • Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14
  • One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor, but the way of the wicked leads them astray. Proverbs 12:26
  • There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18

 

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