Don't Be Foolish About Your Friends

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There’s an old saying that suggests “you can tell a person’s character by the company they keep.”
Though this isn’t an absolute truth it is a biblical one and the reason why Paul told the church in Corinth “Bad company ruins good morals.” ().
The reality is typically speaking you can judge a person for who they are by the people they surround themselves with.
That’s because most people surround themselves with “like-minded” folk.
Even though this old saying isn’t in the book of Proverbs, the book does have a lot to say about friendships and how they affect and shape our lives.
With this in mind let us examine our lesson for today.

What Real Friendship Is

The term friendship has become distorted.

Today’s world has confused the word friendship with acquaintance.
Social media, Facebook in particular, has turned the noun “friend” into a verb meaning “someone on my list of people I mostly don’t really know.”
Thus, you can “unfriend” someone and it just means they are no longer on the list.
This term of friendship has become so deluded that Facebook has limited the number of friends you can have to 5000 friends.
There is no doubt this term needs clarification in our modern world.

What is biblical friendship?

Biblical friendship is based in love.
Proverbs 17:17 ESV
17 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
Biblical friends are those that stick with you through tough times.
Proverbs 18:24 ESV
24 A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Proverbs 27:10 ESV
10 Do not forsake your friend and your father’s friend, and do not go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity. Better is a neighbor who is near than a brother who is far away.
Biblical friends point out truth even if you don’t want to hear it.
Proverbs 27:5–6 ESV
5 Better is open rebuke than hidden love. 6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.


Biblical friendship is based in love, doesn’t allow difficulties to come in the way, and puts truth above everything, even when it hurts.

We Must Wisely Choose Friends

Friendship can have different levels.

There is no doubt that there are different levels of friendship and hence the term “best friend” or “closes friends.”
This is healthy and something we should keep in mind when making friends.

How to choose wise friends.

Understand what makes for a “bad friend.”
Are they the type of person that asks you to do wrong?
Proverbs 1:10–14 ESV
10 My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent. 11 If they say, “Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood; let us ambush the innocent without reason; 12 like Sheol let us swallow them alive, and whole, like those who go down to the pit; 13 we shall find all precious goods, we shall fill our houses with plunder; 14 throw in your lot among us; we will all have one purse”—
Proverbs 1:15–19 ESV
15 my son, do not walk in the way with them; hold back your foot from their paths, 16 for their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed blood. 17 For in vain is a net spread in the sight of any bird, 18 but these men lie in wait for their own blood; they set an ambush for their own lives. 19 Such are the ways of everyone who is greedy for unjust gain; it takes away the life of its possessors.
Pr 1:
Verse 17 shows how foolish it is to associate with these people.
Even the birds see a net coming at them and run why don’t we see the net people are throwing at us.
Understanding what a bad friend is allows to know whom to avoid and now whom to pursue, as the proverb writer states...
Proverbs 13:20 ESV
20 Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.


Choosing the “right” friends is extremely important.


Who we choose to make our close friends will ultimately determine how we spend our time and whom we put our focus on.
Proverbs 27:10 ESV
10 Do not forsake your friend and your father’s friend, and do not go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity. Better is a neighbor who is near than a brother who is far away.
Choosing wisely will allow us to grow spiritually and will help us grow as we should biblically but choosing wrongly will likely take us down a path that is difficult to come out of.
Isaiah 59:1–2 ESV
1 Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; 2 but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.
Philippians 2:6–7 ESV
6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
Romans 10:17 ESV
17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
Hebrews 11:6 ESV
6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
Acts 17:30 ESV
30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent,
Matthew 10:32 NKJV
32 “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven.
2 Thessalonians 1:8 ESV
8 in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.
1 Corinthians 15:1–4 ESV
1 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,
Romans 6:3–5 ESV
3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.
1 John 1:7 ESV
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
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