THE RIGHT FRIENDS
“He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” Proverbs 13:20
We are reminded in this Scripture that it is very important that we be selective about our friendships. Friends can be the source of great encouragement and positive influence, but they can be a negative factor as well. God clearly warns us of the effect that wrong associations can have on us: “a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” Many have been deceived about the destructive influence of the wrong friends. This mistake is commonly made by young people, but adults should also recognize this warning. It would be wise for young people to respect and honor their parents’ wisdom in respect of the choice of their companions. Sometimes others are able to see attributes or character flaws which we may not recognize. The Bible says, “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners” (I Corinthians 15:33). Whether they are negative or positive, it is natural to learn the tendencies of our friends. The familiar adage is usually true, “you become like those with whom you associate.”
Not only should we make certain that our choice of friends is pleasing to the Lord, but we should also strive to make every effort to contribute to meaningful friendships. In every relationship we have responsibilities. It would be very selfish to think that we could have a good relationship with others but not have to contribute to that cause. For instance, Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend loveth at all times.” A true friend will be there in good times and bad. We are to be faithful to our friends. If we want to have friends, we must be friendly toward others. “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly” (Proverbs 18:24).
True friendship also involves the willingness to give and receive reproof. “Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend” (Proverbs 27:5, 6). We should want to have the kind of friends that will help us become all that God wants us to be. A godly friend will be concerned for our spiritual progress. Likewise, we should want to be able to help them in their spiritual pilgrimage, encouraging and supporting them. Of course, the best Friend we can ever have is our Savior. He is our constant Companion and Source of encouragement, counsel, and support.