There are several verses in the Bible that pierce straight to the heart in regards to who we hang out with. In John 17:15 Jesus said, “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.” The verses below aren’t suggesting that we don’t socialize with unbelievers who could potentially “lead us astray”. Jesus lived among and served some of the furthest people from God. We need to reach people right where they are and remember that WE TOO WERE ONCE THEM and that it was only by the grace of God that we can minister to them. Yes, that’s dangerous and takes a solid faith and a pure heart. It means praying that you remain faithful and strong in the midst of what temptations the world may throw at you just like Paul did in 1 Thessalonians 5:23 when he exhorted the Thessalonians in his letter saying, “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” A few months back I wrote a short post on relationships and what we are communicating about our faith in how we live and talk that I think is relevant to this post.
The Company You Keep
2 Corinthians 6:14 – Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
Hebrews 4:12 – For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Proverbs 12:26 – The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
Proverbs 13:20 – Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.
Proverbs 14:6-7 – The mocker seeks wisdom and finds none, but knowledge comes easily to the discerning. Stay away from a fool, for you will not find knowledge on their lips.
Proverbs 22:24-25 – Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared.
1 Corinthians 15:33-34 – Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame.
Ephesians 4:29-32 – Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you
Colossians 3:12-14 – Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Accountability & Mentorship
Proverbs 11:14 – For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers.
Proverbs 17:17 – A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.
Proverbs 19:20 – Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.
Proverbs 27:17 – As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
Friendship in the Bible
Ruth & Naomi
Ruth 1:16-17 – But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”
David & Jonathan
1 Samuel 18:1-3 – After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. 2 From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return home to his family. 3 And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself.
Job 2:11 – When Job’s three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him.
Elijah & Elisha
2 Kings 2:2 – Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; the Lord has sent me to Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel.