by Franklin L. Kirksey
First, we should choose our friends biblically. Proverbs 22:24 warns us "make no friendship with an angry man." Solomon also tells us "a companion of fools will be destroyed" (Prov. 13:20). "Do not be deceived: evil company corrupts good habits" (1Cor. 15:33–see also 1Cor. 5:9-13). If you are a child of God you have "a friend who sticks closer than a brother" (Prov. 18:24). "What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear." Jesus was called "a friend of tax collectors and sinners" (Matt. 11:19) but He "was in all points tempted like we are, yet without sin" (Heb. 4:15). Many Christians blindly fall into friendship with those in the world system—and I might add, to their own peril (see: James 4:4).
Furthermore, we should cherish our friends faithfully. This involves proper care and cultivation. Anna Holden King writes,
"Friendship is like a garden of flowers fine and rare;
It cannot reach perfection except through loving care.
Then, new and lovely blossoms with new day appear.
For friendship, like a garden grows in beauty year by year."
Solomon writes, "A friend loves at all times and a brother is born for adversity" (Prov. 18:24).
Finally, we should change our friends slowly. Benjamin Franklin wrote, "Be slow in choosing a friend, slower in changing."
Solomon writes, "A whisperer separates chief friends" (Prov. 16:28). Therefore we must be on guard against all the influences that would dissolve our friendships. Amid great difficulties, David and Jonathan remained fast friends (see 1 Sam. 20).
You may have heard it said, "Friends don't let friends drive drunk." Let me add, "Real friends don't let friends miss church" (Heb. 10:25).
Be a friend.