What does the Bible say about choosing friends?
God uses friendship as an instrument of sanctification. It is important that all Christians carefully choose their friends. In the past I used to have trouble choosing friends and I’ll tell you from experience friends can either bring you up in life or bring you down.
Wise Christian friends will build you up, help you, and bring wisdom. A bad friend will lead you to sin, encourage ungodly traits, and would rather see you fall than do good in life.
Being a loving and forgiving Christian doesn’t mean that you are to hang around with bad friends who bring peer pressure in your life.
Sometimes you have to know when friendship with another person is leading you away from the Lord. In this case, you must choose Christ or that friend. The answer is always going to be Christ.
Just like a good parent tries to remove negative influences from their child’s life, God will remove bad influences from our life and replace them with godly friends.
Ask God for wisdom when choosing friends in your life and remember bad company ruins good morals so choose your friends wisely.
Quotes about choosing friends
- “Associate yourself with people of good quality, for it is better to be alone then in bad company.” Booker T. Washington
- “You become like the 5 people you spend the most time with. Choose carefully.”
- “You don’t need a certain number of friends, just a number of friends you can be certain of.”
- “Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.”
What we learn about choosing friends in the Bible
1. Proverbs 12:26 The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
2. Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.
3. Proverbs 13:20 Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.
4. Proverbs 17:17 A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.
5. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 Two people are better than one because together they have a good reward for their hard work. If one falls, the other can help his friend get up. But how tragic it is for the one who is all alone when he falls. There is no one to help him get up.
6. Proverbs 18:24 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Good friends give wise counsel
7. Proverbs 11:14 Without wise leadership, a nation is in trouble; but with good counselors there is safety.
8. Proverbs 27:9 Ointments and perfume encourage the heart; in a similar way, a friend’s advice is sweet to the soul.
9. Proverbs 24:6 For through wise counsel you will wage your war, and victory lies in an abundance of advisors.
Good friends tell you what you need to hear rather than trying to flatter you.
10. Proverbs 28:23 Whoever rebukes a man will later on find more favor than someone who flatters with his words.
11. Proverbs 27:5 Open criticism is better than hidden love.
12. Proverbs 27:6 You can trust what your friend says, even when it hurts. But your enemies want to hurt you, even when they act nice.
13. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing.
Do not choose bad friends
14. 1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
15. Proverbs 16:29 A violent person entices their neighbor and leads them down a path that is not good.
16. Psalm 26:4-5 I did not sit with liars, and I will not be found among hypocrites. I have hated the mob of evildoers and will not sit with wicked people.
17. Psalm 1:1 How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
18. Proverbs 22:24-25 Do not be a friend of one who has a bad temper, and never keep company with a hothead, or you will learn his ways and set a trap for yourself.
19. 1 Corinthians 5:11 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.
20. John 15:13 No one has greater love than this—that one lays down his life for his friends.
Being friends with Jesus
You don’t gain friendship with Christ by obeying. You must recognize that you are a sinner in need of a Savior. God desires perfection and you cannot meet the requirements. Out of His love God came down in the flesh. Jesus lived the life you couldn’t live and was crushed for your sins.
He died, He was buried, and He was resurrected for your transgressions. You must repent and trust in Christ. You must trust in what Christ has done for you. Jesus is the only way. I’m going to Heaven because of Jesus.
Obeying the Bible doesn’t save me, but since I truly do love and appreciate Christ I will obey. If you have truly been saved and if you are truly a friend of Christ you will obey Him.
21. John 15:14-16 You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because the slave does not understand what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, because I have revealed to you everything I heard from my Father. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that remains, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.