The Lord Jesus told the disciples that they were His friends if they did what He told them to do and if they followed His example. These were not just empty words, but an encouragement to them to emulate the godly character he modeled. I firmly believe that it’s either you are leading or you are following somebody, you are either being influenced or you are influencing. Jesus says to Peter and the boys, come follow me and I will make you fishers of men. Who you follow either in friendship, a mentorship relationship makes you and has a say in which you ultimately become. Nothing happens of itself if you are a Christian. I believe God lines up men and women in your life to show you favor, to affirm you and assist you with your assignment.
If you follow a thief, murderer or slanderer you will become one. So far you have attracted a lot of people into your life, but what role are they playing? I am a product of a number of divine connections, godly friendships which were formed just in the nick of time for a reason, for a season, for edification, encouragement and enlargement. I believe you can use these eight important areas that I call foundations for godly friendships.
1. As a Christian your values are based on what God says in His word, therefore your associations must be guided by the same principles that say that you should not be unequally yoked with unbelievers
2. Some folks should be left alone. If they tell you that its ten o’clock don’t bother to look at your watch because they would be lying. Honesty and reliability are not just good qualities. They are pillars of support. You know that you can count on someone because their word is their bond.
3. In the world we live in there will be trials, tribulations and trouble. A faithful friend will be there to find ways and means to ease the pain and hold your hand through it all. This indeed is a friend in need and you are required to be such a one. If any man has a friend, he must first show himself friendly.
4. Some associations are high maintenance and should be avoided. A friend who accepts you and celebrates you without putting too many conditions for you is a good friend. They may see that your condition is not good, but they believe in you because of your position in Christ who has seated you in the heavenly places and called you beloved.
5. There are people who get along because of a mutual “disrespect”. I don’t know how they do it, they just run roughshod over each other, disregarding each other’s values, opinions and standpoint. We need to have a respecting for each other.
6. Friends are vulnerable enough to ask each other for help. They are not friends just because they support the same football team, drink together or go to church together. They seek and offer advice to each other, rendering valuable input.
7. Friends must learn the word forgiveness very fast if the fellowship is going to be sweet. Unity is not uniformity, neither is it about the absence of conflict. Conflicts must be resolved to create an atmosphere of peace and understanding.
8. True Christian friends do not lead each other astray and compromise but rather they are their brother’s keeper and remind each other to stay on the straight and narrow path that leads to life.
It is my belief that if you are walking together, it is because you agree that you are helping each other become better, happier, healthier and more prosperous, body, mind, spirit, and soul. Some are guilty by association, some cursed by association and yet others are blessed by association. I prefer to be blessed by association. Do not spend uncommon time building nothing, going nowhere with people, whose lives are a wandering generality, lacking depth and focus. You will end up at the wrong station. Question, qualify and don’t be quick to allow access to the unqualified and I will definitely see you at the top.