Choose Friends Carefully, A Warning To All Godly People

Why should you choose friends carefully? We should strive to satisfy God in order to spend eternity with him. As a result, to respect God, we must stay away from those who might tempt us to do wrong things.

Updated: Monday, September 4, 2023

Choose Friends Carefully, A Warning To All Godly People

Godly people are careful about the friends they choose.

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

Proverbs 12:26 [read Proverbs 12:26]
Godly people are careful about the friends they choose. But the way of sinners leads them down the wrong path. (NIRV)
KJV: The righteous is more excellent than his neighbour: but the way of the wicked seduceth them.
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.

The Lord is a jealous God

Exodus 34:14 [read Exodus 34:10-28 (14)]
Do not worship any other god. The Lord is a jealous God. In fact, his name is Jealous. (NIRV)
KJV: For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:

Friends of Jesus

John 15:14-15 [read John 15:9-17 (14-15)]
You are My friends if you do what I tell you. 15 I do not call you servants that I own anymore. A servant does not know what his owner is doing. I call you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from My Father. (NLV)
KJV: Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. 15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

Friendship with the world

James 4:4 [read James 4:1-6 (4); compare Matthew 6:24 and 1 John 2:15-16]
You are turning away from God, like a woman who is not faithful to her husband. You choose to be friends with people who are against God. So you yourselves become enemies of God. You should know that! (EASY)
KJV: Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

Friendship is…

1. To always like something (the world; worldly ways) or someone no matter what happens.
Matthew 6:24 No man (person) can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye (you) cannot serve God and mammon [money, possessions, fame, status, or whatever is valued more than the Lord]. (KJV)
2. Something you have high regard (esteem) for; think much (highly) of.
Luke 16:15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. (KJV) [read Luke 16:14-18 (15)
3. There is a feeling of being close and belonging together.
Mark 9:41 For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward. (KJV)
4. To have confidence (lack of doubt) or faith (strong belief in; loyalty to) in (the world).
Mark 11:22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. (KJV)

What is a friend?

Proverbs 17:17 [read Proverbs 17:17]
A friend is loving at all times and becomes a brother in times of trouble. (BBE)
KJV: A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
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

  • 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.
Proverbs 27:6 [read Proverbs 27:6]
Friends mean well, even when they hurt you. But when an enemy puts his arm around your shoulder—watch out! (GNT)
KJV: Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

Warning About Unbelievers

2 Corinthians 6:14-16 [read 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 (14-16)]
Do not be joined to unbelievers.
What do right and wrong have in common?
Can light and darkness be friends?
15 How can Christ and Satan agree?
Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?
16 How can the temple of the true God and the statues of other gods agree?
We are the temple of the living God. God has said [1 Corinthians 3:16],
“I will live with them, walk among them, be their God, and they will be my people.” [Leviticus 26:12; Jeremiah 32:38; Ezekiel 37:27] (NIRV)

Being unequally yoked

KJV: Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

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.

Bad people = bad influence

So, be careful if you have a close friendship (close association or relationship) with unbelievers.
1 Corinthians 15:33 [read 1 Corinthians 15:29-34 (33)]
Bad people can make those who want to live good become bad. (NLV)
KJV: Be not deceived: evil communicationsG3657 corrupt good manners.
Communications – G3657 ὁμιλία homilia (ho-miy-liy’-a) n. 1. companionship, intercourse, communion. 2. (by implication) interaction.

Live your lives doing what God wants

1 Peter 4:2-4 [read 1 Peter 4:1-6 (2-4)]
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. (ERV)
KJV: That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. 3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: 4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:

Christ Made Us Friends Of God

Romans 5:10-11 [read Romans 5:6-11 (10-11)]
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. (NLT)
KJV: For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. 11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

A warning to all godly people

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. 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 lives.
1 Corinthians 5:10-11 [read 1 Corinthians 5:9-12 (10-11)]
I didn’t tell you that you could not have any contact with unbelievers who commit sexual sins, are greedy, are dishonest, or worship false gods. If that were the case, you would have to leave this world. 11 Now, what I meant was that you should not associate with people who call themselves brothers or sisters in the Christian faith but live in sexual sin, are greedy, worship false gods, use abusive language, get drunk, or are dishonest.Don’t eat with such people. (GW)
KJV: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

The company you keep says a lot about you. So choose your friends carefully (wisely)! I pray that you have enjoyed and will make the most of this Bible lesson. Blessings to you and your loved ones—♥ Tim. ☺

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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