Choose Friends Carefully, A Warning To All Godly People

This Bible lesson focuses on the need to choose friends carefully for those who follow Christ. We should strive to satisfy God in order to spend eternity with him. As a result, to respect God, we need to stay away from those who could tempt us to do the wrong thing.

Created: Friday, November 4, 2022

Picture of sunset at lake in the park for choose friends carefully

STM Bible Lesson

Lesson focus: Proverbs 12:26. Bible lesson background: Since the wrong friendship might lead us to turn away from God. A godly person must respect God and carefully pick their friends; they should not be friends with unbelievers. But sinners don’t respect God or have the same concern, they are free to choose anyone as a friend. Especially since they are not thinking about pleasing God. In any event, God’s people need to serve as positive role models for the sinner.

Choose Friends Carefully, A Warning To All Godly People

Godly people are careful about the friends they choose. But the way of sinners leads them down the wrong path. Proverbs 12:26 (NIRV)

So, be friendly, but to respect God, choose your friends and those with whom you associate wisely. People that do not want what is best or good for you are not your friends. Jesus uses the Greek word philos (fee’-los) for the word friends and to describe His friends as those who obey Him. In other words, you cannot be an unbeliever or disobedient (a believer that is constantly doing sinful things) and be a friend of God.

Friends of Jesus

Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends, if you do what I command you.

15 No longer do I call you servants; for the servant does not know what his lord is doing: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. John 15:13-15 (RKJNT)

Choosing Friends Challenge

You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? whoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. James 4:4 (RKJNT)

G2189 enmity is from the Greek word ἔχθρα echthra (ech’-thra) n. 1. hostility; enemy (hatred). 2. (by implication) a reason for opposition.

Two questions for you. When we look at James 4:4

  1. What does friendship {philia (fil-ee’-ah) only used in this verse throughout the KJV} and friend {philos (fee’-los} of the world {kosmos (kos’-mos)} mean?
  2. Why would this type of friendship make you an enemy of God?

What is a friend?

A friend is loving at all times and becomes a brother in times of trouble. Proverbs 17:17 (BBE)

Of course, you are free to choose whomever you want as your ‘friend’. However, to choose the right type of friends from a Christian perspective we must understand the meaning of the word friend.

  • A true friend is closer than a relative (the phrase “a brother” is often used in many Bible translations/revisions in Proverbs 18:24); they will stay with you during all situations and conditions in your life including the bad times.
  • Individuals with a special bond, relationship, and love (sexually intimate {if married; yes married couples can remain friends ☺} or platonic} for each other.
  • A true friend does not gossip (tell others the personal busy of a friend) about, mistreat or intentionally hurt their friend {Proverbs 16:28; Psalms 15:2-5}.
  • Persons that have mutual trust and concern for each other’s happiness, well-being, success, and interests. They will be truthful with each other even when it may cause temporary pain, but will also comfort and offer good advice to the friend to help ease the discomfort.

Friends mean well, even when they hurt you. But when an enemy puts his arm around your shoulder—watch out [Proverbs 27:6 (GNT)]!

Warning About Non-Christians

Do not join yourselves to [become partners with; be mismatched/unevenly yoked with] unbelievers. Good and bad do not belong together [for what partnership has righteousness and wickedness/lawlessness?].
Light and darkness cannot share together [or what fellowship/partnership can light have with darkness?].
15 How can Christ and Belial [the devil; Satan] have any agreement [harmony; accord]?
What can a believer have together [share in common] with a nonbeliever?
16 What agreement [union] can the temple of God have with idols? For we are the temple of the living God [1 Corinthians 3:16]. As God said: “I will live with them and walk with them. And I will be their God, and they will be my people [Leviticus 26:11–12; Jeremiah 32:38; Ezekiel 37:27].” [2 Corinthians 6:14-16 (EXB)]?

The phrase “unequally yoked together with unbelievers” [in the KJV] causes some to believe marriage is the only concern Paul addressed in his second letter to the Corinthians chapter 6. When selecting a spouse it is definitely. However, it also applies when choosing friends.

Be careful if you have a close friendship (close association or relationship) with unbelievers. Bad people can make those who want to live good become bad [1 Corinthians 15:33 (NLV)].

Strengthen yourselves so that you will live your lives here on earth doing what God wants, not the evil things that people want to do. 3 In the past you wasted too much time doing what those who don’t know God like to do. You were living immoral lives, doing the evil things you wanted to do. You were always getting drunk, having wild drinking parties, and doing shameful things in your worship of idols.
4 Now those “friends” think it is strange that you no longer join them in all the wild and wasteful things they do. And so they say bad things about you. 1 Peter 4:2-4 (ERV)

Choose Friends Carefully – wrap-up

When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. 7 Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. 8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. 9 And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation.
10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. 11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God. Romans 5:6-11 (NLT)

Since we are all a part of God’s family, to respect God, we should look to other believers as our closest friends. We must also keep ourselves apart from nonbelievers. But we shouldn’t fully isolate ourselves from the non-believers (1 Corinthians 5:9-12). Let your light shine at all times and remember to pick friends wisely since even those who do not believe can experience God’s love through our life.

I pray that you have enjoyed and will make the most of this Bible lesson. Blessings to you and your loved ones—♥ Tim. ☺

Scriptures to read/study

Proverbs 12:26, 16:27-30 (28) [Psalms 15:1-5], 17:17, 18:24, and 27:6; John 15:9-17 (13-15). James 4:1-6 (4); 1 Corinthians 3::5-17 (16) [Leviticus 26:1-46 (11–12); Jeremiah 32:26-44 (38); Ezekiel 37:15-28 (27)]. 1 Peter 4:1-6 (2-4); 1 Corinthians 5:9-12 (11) and 15:29-34 (33). 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 (14) and Romans 5:6-11.

Related studies/lessons/snacks for further Spiritual growth:

Question for Choose Friends Carefully, A Warning To All Godly People: Do you have friendships that need to end?

See what is available on the Sound Truth Ministry website.


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