What makes someone a ‘friend’? Maybe you went to high school together? Maybe they live down the street? Maybe you’re in the same college classes now? But how many of these ‘friends’ are just comfort zone friends? As in, you know them pretty well, they’re an okay person and you see them frequently. Or how many of your friends are seasonal friends? You know they just appear when it is convenient for them.
In my life, I have had both of these friends. But then I realized that I needed to choose better friends to help me to grow in my faith, friends who would hold me accountable and push me to better myself. Sometimes we don’t want to let go of these ‘friends’ because that would put us in an uncomfortable situation or mean a huge change in our everyday lives. However, when you distance yourself from these people and find friends who are supportive, caring and genuine, you will be able to see how much of an impact the people around you truly have on your life.
“One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.” Proverbs 12:26
As the righteous, we need to choose our friends wisely. Where are your friends leading you? Are they bringing you closer to Christ or further away from Him? Let me ask you a bigger question: are your friends living what they believe? Are you living what you believe? Are you doing things out of character just to fit in with these ‘friends’? Friendships should refresh our souls rather than diminish them.
“Do not be deceived: bad company ruins good morals.” 1 Corinthians 15:33
Your company, your ‘friends’ define you. The people you surround yourself with in real life reflect on you. Your followers are not your friends; the likes you receive on social media are not your friends. During difficult times, are your friends there? Do your friends celebrate with you over your accomplishments? Are these people genuinely excited for you when good things happen? If not, you may need to reevaluate who these ‘friends’ are in your life.
We are allowed free choice in choosing our friends, but we should make sure to be choosing the right ones. Choose friends who are leading you in the right direction and ultimately to God. Surround yourself with people who build you up and who pray for your success not in comparison to their own. God wants us to be comfortable and confident with who we are and to allow His spirit to fill us. So stop looking for approval and fulfillment within the wrong friendships or your social media ‘friends’ and just allow God's grace to fulfill you. He is sufficient.
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” Colossians 3:12-14