We all need friends that really make a difference in our lives.
How To Choose A Friend
© Pastor Kathy A. E. Jones
When asked most of us would agree that a friend is:
1. Someone we know well.
2. Someone we like to some degree.
3. Someone who is our ally, sympathizer, or supporter, and
4. Someone who we trust to have our best interest at heart.
The Bible puts it another way. It says in Prov 18:24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. KJV
How we choose our friends is very important. Our friends have the ability to make or break us. How many times have we seen that young man or young woman who starts hanging out with the wrong kind of friends? Somehow it doesn’t take long before those of us on the outside looking in begin to see the negative results of such unhealthy relationships.
What about the family who moves to an upper middleclass area from an improvised neighborhood where gangs, drugs, and under funded educational institutions were the norm? Why is it that for the most part the family as a whole begins to get along better, the children start taking pride in themselves, and every ones ability to achieve escalates?
Having friends is very important to each individual and to society as a whole. Just think what your life would be like if you didn’t have one or two special friends. What would our world be like if it had not been for friends of humanity like Dr. Martin Luther King jr., President Abraham Lincoln, and Nelson Mandela?
Everyone needs friends. However we must not confuse friends with acquaintances. We all have lots of acquaintances but it is highly unlikely that we will ever have more than a few trusted friends. There are four questions that everyone should consider when deciding weather or not to pick someone they have been keeping contact with on a regular basis as a friend.
1. Will this friendship inspire me to become a better person five years from now?
2. Will this friendship give me the courage and strength to face or go through difficult times?
3. Will this friendship encouragement me to value and be there for my friend and immediate family?
4. Will this friendship cause a thirst in me to finish my life’s course?
Jesus Christ God’s only begotten son was just that kind of friend. His life reflected positive attributes and His commitment to His primary goals. An example of the kind of person Jesus was is below:
And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them. Matthew 4:23-24 KJV
Because Jesus loved people His life made a positive impression on those that were His friends, enemies, and the communities wherever He frequented.
Jesus by example taught us how to go through difficult times. “And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt”. Matt 26:39 KJV
In life we will all face difficult times and we must surround ourselves with friends that will encourage us not to give up but to keep our trust in God.
Jesus also taught us to honor our family and to provide for them. Good friends encourage us to do the same. Jesus was a prime example of someone who lived out his responsibilities as a family member and a friend. When He was on His way to the cross he saw his mother and a friend which He loved dearly. He wanted to make sure that both were taken care of. Even though he was going through the greatest test of His life here on earth He took time to take care of their social and physical needs.
John 19:26-27 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home. KJV
Finally Jesus was a good friend in showing us how to let go once we have completed the assignment God has given us to do here on earth. John 19:30 KJV says: When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
Good friends are not selfish when it come to releasing those we love and care for into the hands of a loving God. We understand and value the gift we were given in being able to have them for as long or as short of time as we did.
If you are looking for a good friend I would like to recommend Jesus first and then that you follow His example for choosing trusted friends here on earth. Then you will find this journey call life is really worth the living.