If you are a recent high-school graduate (or the parent of one) this week’s devotions are particularly for you. God, bless you in this new phase of life!
Choosing Friends Wisely
You may be one of those guys who’s never met a stranger. Maybe you can talk to just about anyone and make friends easily. Or maybe you have a longtime childhood friend and the two of you are inseparable. But for a lot of guys it’s not easy to find a good friend. So whether you have many friends or a few, I’m sure you will agree that friendship is a two-way street. If you want a good friend, you have to be a good friend.
In the Bible, God gives guidelines on how to be a good friend:
“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17).
“He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends” (Proverbs 17:9).
“Do not forsake your friend” (Proverbs 27:10).
How can you choose friends that last? As I said earlier, developing the right friendships starts with you—you need to be the right kind of friend. Here are some choices you’ll need to make if you want to be a top-notch friend.
1. Choose to Be Yourself
Don’t try to impress others by saying and doing things you think will make them like you. And this goes double if your actions would be contrary to God’s Word in any way. Remember, you are looking for a friend who isn’t phony—who isn’t pretending to be one person when he’s really someone else. So choose to be what God wants you to be. You will be genuine. And when you are comfortable with who you are, then others will also feel comfortable when they’re around you. They might not share your beliefs, but they will respect you for what you stand for.
2. Choose to Be Honest
Trust is essential in any relationship. If you want to have friends who are honest with you, then (you guessed it) you must be honest with them, even if it means having a difficult conversation. Honesty is one of the benefits of a true friendship. The Bible puts it this way: “Wounds from a friend can be trusted… and the pleasantness of one’s friend springs from his earnest counsel” (Proverbs 27:6, 9).
3. Choose to Be Loyal
Have you ever heard of a fair-weather friend? I’m sure you know exactly what this means. It’s a so-called friend who bails as soon as something goes wrong. They’re great friends as long as they are not challenged in any way. Usually the friendship is one-way. Loyalty is essential in any friendship. Therefore, you must become a loyal friend yourself. In the Bible, David and Jonathan’s friendship was characterized by loyalty even in the midst of severe adversity (1 Samuel 20:14-18).
As you read through these verses, think about your friendships and determine whether you are trying to be the kind of friend God describes. How genuine are you with your friends? How honest are you? How loyal are you? Are you “a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24) and don’t you want your friends to be the same!