"Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
1 Corinthians 15:33
Who has the front row seat in your life? Who is within your inner circle? These are important questions to ask yourself because we are definitely known by the company we keep!
The Lord Jesus had 12 friends who kept company with Him regularly. All 12 shared not only the same faith, but a desire to know Christ. They were growing and learning together. They were found in the Lord's presence witnessing the same miracles, and listening to the same teachings.
Friendships are necessary and important. Relationships with others can enrich us, inspire us and spur us on along the christian journey. Just merely having 'Christian' friends isn't enough. What I mean is this; it isn't going to be sufficient enough to just have a friend who professes to be a 'Christian', or who attends a church, per se. Many people claim to be Christians or warm a church bench, yet, fail to show evidence that their lives are controlled by the Holy Spirit. Some are carnal and worldly in their thinking and practices. You will have to discern between who is truly obedient to God vs. the ones who are not.
We are to find benefit from our friendships and interactions with others. Typically, we make connections with people who we find some common ground with. They are individuals with whom we can relate to or share similarities with.
It is impossible to forge godly ties with those who do not share your faith! You cannot have a 'Best Friend' (BFF) who is an unbeliever!!! Your lifestyles would be based on totally different principles. More than not, an unsaved friend will influence you in their direction and you could find yourself taking on their perspective and ideals.
In order to grow spiritually without being hindered, or stumbled, you will have to choose your friends wisely. You want relationships that will influence you for Christ, and not tempt you into a carnal and worldly mindset. You might even find that you may have to let some people go, that at one point in time, were your friends. Sometimes we out grow relationships, or we find that they are simply, no longer, what they should be.
The people we surround ourselves with will speak to where we're at in our spiritual lives.
The 12 disciples were the Lord's friends, and Peter, James, and John were the closest to Him. They were in His inner circle. There were things that He shared with them in particular. Can you share deep and intimate things with your inner circle of friends? Can you receive the right advice and guidance and support from them? Do they come from a godly perspective with their suggestions? Do they share the word of God with you in a way where you see that they are growing in Christ, gaining a deeper knowledge of Him?
Friends who are obedient to God will not engage in behavior or conversations that God wouldn't approve of.
1. Respect others
2. Lovingly Correct you when you're wrong
3. Care about your spiritual development
4. Remove themselves from all gossip
5. Are not afraid to stand up for what is right
6. Are learning and growing in the faith themselves
7. Draw your attention to the Lord
8. Will bear your burdens as their own
9. Are supportive and reliable
10. Are not jealous or envious of others
Surround yourself with those who are seeking to honor God and you will not be hindered or stumbled along the Christian pathway! You will experience a bond that is a blessing, and a valuable, rewarding relationship for all time!