Tim Lynn /
We all have friends. Some of us have a lot of friends. Some of us even have a best friend. Some of us might only have our dog as a friend.
Why do we crave friendship? Why do friends influence us to do things we might not otherwise do, for better or for worse? These are questions we will face sooner or later, and it’s wise to have the answer figured out in advance!
Friends come in many guises: girlfriends, boyfriends, best friends, cool friends, popular friends, friends that can help us with our homework, or friends that have a car or money. Each friend fills a need. But beware friends who help us to fulfill the wrong needs, or peer pressure disguised as friendship that leads us to places we don’t really want to go.
Our desire to have friends is a good thing. It is God-given. Genesis 2:18 declares: “And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone…”
So, if God wants us to have friends, but some friends influence us to do wrong, how should we respond? The answer lies in our motivation and desire. If our focus is “me first!” there’s trouble ahead. The problem is that we live in a culture where “me first!” is applauded. After all, what else is there in life? Life is all about being happy! Life is all about meeting my desires and needs! But this reasoning could not be further from the truth. Life is all about God! (1 Corinthians 10:31). When your desires change to focus on God, you will be on the right path.
When our desires change along with our outlook on life, we can choose good friends who help us to accomplish higher goals, with Jesus as the ultimate goal.
If you want to know where you currently stand, ask yourself a few questions: Do my friends help me to have a better relationship with Jesus? Do my friends encourage me to go to church and learn about God? Do they help me to read and understand the Bible? Do they pray with me? Choose your friends carefully and you will be richly rewarded.
And here’s one more question: Are you a good friend? (Proverbs 18:24).
Remember that Jesus is the goal, so regularly ask yourself these two questions: Do my friends help me reach that goal? and, Do I help my friends reach that goal?