What is a Friend?

Friend: A person whom one knows, likes, and trusts. thefreedictionary.com

The term “friend” may be one of the most abused and misused terms in the English language outside of the word “love.”

It seems we are quick to call someone our friend without really understanding what friendship entails.  

Friendship must not be something that we associate with people we know, casually or have been acquainted with, but calling someone a friend should be a position of honor in our lives.

Why? Because friends can possess a powerful influence over our thoughts, actions, and opinions whether we believe this or not. They are so influential that not only are we given criteria by which to choose friends, but we are also explicitly cautioned about who NOT to call friends in the Word of God.

Check out these verses (New International Version of the Holy Bible):

Proverbs 13:20

He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.

Proverbs 14:7

Stay away from a foolish man, for you will not find knowledge on his lips.

I Corinthians 15:33-34

Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning: for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame.

Proverbs 22:24-25

Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.

Letting Go of Futile Friendships

Friendship is something that has always meant a lot to me. I am the kind of person who will do just about anything for those I call my friends. Throughout my life, this philosophy of friendship has bitten me in the behind several times.

I have had two friends that were like sisters to me for more than 20 years that I am no longer friends with today. Coming to the realization that they were not who I thought they were or that we had evolved into different people whose values did not align, was very hurtful at first; but, thanks be to God, in time became easier to accept.

In fact, God replaced those friends with total gems that I would never have met without His divine intervention.

I have also experienced the realization of having a spouse who was not a friend but an enemy—talk about being in close spaces.

But, at the end of the day, when I was able to let all of these individuals go in my head, God was able to do the mending that came from what felt like brokenness in my heart.

The same can happen for you. It is critical that you begin to assess and evaluate your friendships. Doing this may be scary because we love to hold on to what’s familiar; but, it just has to be done.

Futile friendships are like shackles, forcefully pulling us away from our purpose; consistently, providing unnecessary distractions.

Choosing the God-kind of Friends

And so choosing friends whose connection is genuine, beneficial, and uplifting to them and to you is critical as you seek to fulfill your purpose, and walk in your divine personal brand.

When you are focused on your assignment, you cannot afford to constantly associate with those who do not provide wise counsel and good instruction.

You must surround yourself with a very small group of individuals who do the following:

  • Love you at all times and truly want God’s Best for you.  (A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. Proverbs 17:17)
  • Help you see your ideas with new clarity, refined, and shaped into brilliant insights through discussion, collaboration, and admonishment. (As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17)
  • Intend to give good advice so that you might move closer to God’s vision for your life (One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor, but the way of the wicked leads them astray. Proverbs 12:26, English Standard Version)

It is just that simple.

Use these three measures as criteria as you strive to be more cautious in friendship.

Having the God-kind of friends will make the journey towards the vision so much purer. 

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Peace and Blessings,

Filed under: Mindset TipsPersonal DevelopmentSpiritual Concepts

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