Christian friends vs Non-Christian Friends

Today was spent filling my time mostly working on lesson plans for Kelsey.  It seems that when I get caught up, I get behind again.  And so the story goes…if I wouldn’t wait till the last minute to do things, maybe I wouldn’t have to work so hard.  🙂

This evening we spent the evening with some great Christian friends.  Had a great meal (Richard’s famous garlic chicken) and some amazing fellowship.  A few weeks ago, before I left Facebook, I posted a status about spending the evening with great Christian friends.  That post was commented on and posed the question…”so couldn’t you have spent the evening with some Chrisitan friends that weren’t so great.  Or even a non-Christian friends.  I didn’t respond to that comment except to say that I didn’t mean any disrespect to either of those groups just that I considered the friends that I spent the evening with to be GREAT friends and they were Christian friends to boot!

After I got to thinking about that and after this evening where I spent time with, again, great Christian friends, I wondered what God’s word said about friends periods.  Here is what I found…

So, what does a true Christian friendship look like?
 Christian friends love sacrificially.  John 15:13 says this…”Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”    We are to love each other as Jesus loves us.  And he loves us enough to give his life for us.  We may not have to die for someone, but there are other ways to practice sacrificial love:  listening, helping, encouraging, giving.  If we choose our friends based on what they have to offer us, then we will surely miss out on a blessing of true friendship.
Christians friends accept unconditionally. Proverbs 17:17 tells us “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”  What kind of friend are you?  There is a vast difference between knowing someone well and being a true friend.  The greatest evidence of genuine friendship is loyalty, being available to help in times of distress or personal struggles.  Too many people are fair weather friends.  They stick around when the friendship helpsthem and leave when they’re not getting anything out of the relationship.  Think of your friends and assess your loyalty to them.  Be the kind of true friend the Bible encourages.  If we’re easily offended or hold on to bitterness, we’ll have a hard time making friends. No one is perfect. We all make mistakes now and then. If we take a truthful look at ourselves, we’ll admit that we are partially to blame when things go wrong in a friendship. A good friend is quick to ask forgiveness and ready to be forgiving.

Christian Friends Trust Completely.  Proverbs 18:24,  A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

This proverb reveals that a true Christian friend is trustworthy, indeed, but reveals a second important truth as well. We should only expect to share complete trust with a few loyal friends. Trusting too easily can lead to ruin, so be careful about putting your confidence in a mere companion. Over time our true Christian friends will prove their trustworthiness by sticking closer than a brother or sister.

Christian Friends Give Mutual Edification.  Proverbs 27:6, Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

Who would prefer a friend’s wounds to an enemy’s kisses?  A friend who has your best interests at heart may have to give you unpleasant advice at times, but you know it is for your own good.,  An  enemy, on the other hand, may whisper sweet words and happily send you on your way to ruin.  We tend to hear what we want to hear, even if an enemy is the only one who will say it.  A friend’s advice, no matter how painful, is much better.

True Christian friends will build each other up emotionally and spiritually. Friends like to be together simply because we enjoy fellowship. We receive strength, encouragement, and love. We talk, we cry, we listen. But at times we also have to say the difficult things our dearest friend needs to hear. Yet, because of the shared trust and acceptance, we are the one person who can impact our friend’s heart, for we know how to deliver the hard message with truth and grace. What is it that Proverbs 27:17  says?   “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”

Now through all of this I am not say that we should not reach out to people that are lost.  On the contrary I stake my life on The Great Commission.  What I am saying is this… If you surround yourself with Godly people and things, you will tend to become more Godly.  Your walk with Jesus will be strengthened not hindered.  They teach you in group help programs that if you hang with people that exhibit the type of behaviors you are trying to change, you are more likely to join in that behavior.  Kind of like a junk in junk out concept.

Surround yourself with people who edify and lift you up in your Christian walk.  If someone is constantly tearing you down and making you feel less of a person, then it is probably not someone you want to be “great” friends with.  Yes we should continue to reach out to them but spending time fellowshipping with them on a regular basis is probably not a good idea.

So in conclusion…I do have friends, and I even have Christian friends.  But the GREAT Christian friends that edify me, accept me for who I am, and help me in my Christian walk are the people I am going to be fellowshipping with.

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2 thoughts on “Christian friends vs Non-Christian Friends

  1. Very well said Jeannie, we must all BE that kind of friend to each other. God told us to love one another but he never said we had to like each other, lol. Fellowshipping with friends and fellowshipping with other Christians can be two separate activities. They don’t have to be the same if our friends are not Christians or if our fellow Christians are not “friends”

    • You are so right! I do have friends that are not Christians. However I do not spend time with them fellow-shipping. I spend time witnessing to them, and there is a difference. The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 6:14 “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” Paul was urging believers not to form binding relationships with nonbelievers, because this might weaken their Christian commitment, integrity, or standards. Earlier in the same chapter he explains that we are not to isolate ourselves from nonbelievers but that he wants believers to be active in their witness for Christ to nonbelievers. But they should no get themselves into personal or business relationships that could cause them to compromise the faith. Believers should do everything in their power to avoid situations that could force them to divide their loyalties and follow the world into sin.

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