• Nick Henderson

How to have healthy friendships (with Christians and non - Christians)

"Do not be misled: 'Bad company corrupts good character.'" - 1 Corinthians 15:33

Who we hangout with is a massive factor in our overall direction in life. If they are the proper people, than we are likely on the right road. If they aren't, than wrecking our life is pretty much unavoidable.

As a youth pastor, I have seen this play out time after time. A good kid gets involved with some ill - intentioned friends and their life is driven thoroughly off the path God has for them.

On the flip side, I've seen the most prodigal and punk teens turn their life around because some of our strong students from the youth group ministered to and loved them, inviting them into all God has for their lives.

I've heard it put this way: "Show me your friends and I will show you your future."

With that said, as Christians, it is important to be able to determine how to have healthy, God - honoring friendships with people. So, this blog will provide some guidelines on that front:

1. You are the sum of the people you surround yourself with. In other words, sit around the barber shop long enough, you're gonna get a haircut.

If your friends are negative, eventually you will be negative. If they think it's okay to experiment with sin, you will soon follow suit. If your pals participate in gossip and slander, so will you.

This is not a matter of "if" but "when." We are who we surround ourselves with.

2. Take inventory of your friends. In light of number one, it's important to audit your crew. Think intentionally on whether or not they are the best people to be around.

Ask yourself these questions to determine that: Do they love Christ? Are they kind? Do they care about your well – being? Do they encourage you? Do they make wise decisions? Do they make you a better person?

If the answer is "no" to more than one of those questions, it might be time to cut some people off.

3. Put yourself in position to find good friends. Frankly, this applies to romantic relationships too. But, if you think you're just going to stumble upon great friends/partners on accident, you are highly misled. It doesn't work like that.

If you want good friends, start going places where good people go. Like... I don't know... CHURCH. The best place to find God - honoring friends who will better you is at your local church. Get involved, be consistent and eventually you will find yourself some dope friends.

Unlikely you're going to find your next great, Godly friend or partner at the party on Friday night or the bar. Put yourself in position to find good friends.

4. Close friendships and non - Christians. I have an unpopular opinion on this one. In light of the bible's teaching on friendships (1 Cor. 15:33, Prov. 13:20) I think we should be very weary about having close friendships with people who aren't Christian.

Now, I myself have always hung around people of different perspectives and take pride in that. I never want to be closed - minded in that way. I love all people.

But, for my close friendships, like my inner circle, those people are all Christians. Any close relationship I have is filled by a believer. That doesn't mean I don't love or hangout with my non - Christian people, it just means they aren't my ride or die.

You are the sum of the people you surround yourself with. If you have a close circle of non-Christian friends, you will eventually operate in a way that doesn't glorify Christ. I don't want to take that risk and neither should you.

In light of all this, choose your friends wisely. Be strong in your intentionality, morals and convictions when deciding who is in your crew. They are some of the most important choices you will ever make.

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