We should strive to be more like Jesus and who we hang with will influence in this goal.
Jesus had an inner circle of friends. We can learn from His example. Our closest relationships should be with people who hold us accountable, speak truth in love, encourage and exhort our steps to be more like Christ, and who spend time in the Word of God. They should sharpen us, challenge our spiritual maturity, teach us, and encourage our steps of faith.
“Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’” 1 Corinthians 15:33 (NIV)
King David had a special friendship with Jonathon, King Saul’s first-born son. Jonathon displayed love, loyalty, and open communication with David. Although Jonathon was the first in line to inherit the throne, he supported David and helped his friend escape King Saul’s attempt to murder David (1 Samuel 20).
“And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.” 1 Samuel 18:3-4 (NIV)
“Saul was furious with Jonathan and yelled, ‘You’re no son of mine, you traitor! I know you’ve chosen to be loyal to that son of Jesse. You should be ashamed of yourself! And your own mother should be ashamed that you were ever born. You’ll never be safe, and your kingdom will be in danger as long as that son of Jesse is alive. Turn him over to me now! He deserves to die!’” 1 Samuel 20:30-31 (NIV)
Moses and Aaron were brothers and great friends. God appoints special leaders and then assigns a special friend whose calling is to encourage and help that leader. Moses feared to speak publicly so God graciously appointed Aaron as his speaker and supporter. This partnership demonstrates, just in a marriage, God’s love in the form of a bond between two human beings. Sometimes God will call us into the life of another so that our weaknesses might be made less, and so that we may fill in some gaps for someone else. Moses and Aaron worked together to accomplish God’s will, the mighty rescue of Israel.
It is important to select godly friends who are wise and passionate about serving the Lord. This is demonstrated through the relationship between the prophets Elisha and Elijah. Elisha was totally devoted to serving his master (1 Kings 19:20-21). He learned much from his mentor and was given a double portion of the Spirit once Elijah was taken up to heaven.
“After they had reached the other side, Elijah said, ‘Elisha, the Lord will soon take me away. What can I do for you before that happens?’ Elisha answered, ‘Please give me twice as much of your power as you give the other prophets, so I can be the one who takes your place as their leader.’” 2 Kings 2:9 (NIV)
So now ask yourself these questions. Do your friendships sharpen your spiritual walk? Are your friends sold out for Christ or do they have one foot in the worldly door? Are you devoted and loyal to your friends? Are your friendships godly representations of Jesus and His love for mankind? Do you and your friends have a heart of servitude or are your eyes only on self? Is there a person you have been called to mentor or who is called to mentor you? Have you sought them out? Can you be faithful and loyal to this friend, even if it requires sacrifice?
God bless and guide you as you meditate upon these challenging questions.
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17 (NIV)