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Good friends are so important.  Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 tells us, “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow…”  Who we choose to have as our friends is important to the Lord.  1 Corinthians 15:33 tells us, “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.”  To get a better understanding of this verse, let’s read it from the NIV translation.  There it says, “Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.”  If we choose people that misbehave or have no love for the Lord, we will be affected by their behavior.  While we should be friendly and loving to everyone, we should be very careful about whom we associate with as our close friends.  We are warned in Proverbs 13:20, “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.”

We have a very important question in Amos about our associations.  Amos 3:3 asks, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”  It is very difficult to have a close relationship with someone whose thoughts and beliefs are different than ours.  While hearing a different viewpoint can be challenging, refreshing and helpful, we need to be very careful about those whose lives are contrary to the Word of God.  Without mutual love and desire for the Lord, there is no ground for a continuing and rewarding relationship.

As you seek to walk with the Lord, ask Him to bring a friend into your life that also has a desire to walk with Him.  In the scriptures, there are several deep friendships mentioned:  Ruth and Naomi, David and Jonathan, Barnabas and Saul, Paul and Silas, just to name a few.  The key to their solid relationships was a mutual love for the Lord and a desire to live for Him.  There are a few relationships in the scriptures that were not beneficial:  Samson and Delilah, Paul and Demas for example.  These examples should cause us to be careful about choosing our friends.

Realizing the benefits of a true, long lasting friend, make sure the qualities you seek in a friend are the qualities that will help you to grow in the Lord.  Proverbs 27:17 says, “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.”  You should also strive to benefit your friend so that the two of you can grow together.