September 13 Fostering Friendships

Scripture reading: John 14:15–21

Key verse: Proverbs 27:17

As iron sharpens iron,

So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

Many times, lonely people fall prey to the wrong kinds of friendships. When someone is hungry for companionship of any sort, he is less likely to be choosy in forming intimate friendships, and God calls His people to be selective.

From the earliest Old Testament times, when God guided the nation of Israel out of Egypt and into a land filled with strangers, He gave them specific instructions about how to treat the Canaanites, who were sometimes interested in forming alliances with Israel. Why? God knows the importance of avoiding close associations with those who do not have a relationship with Him.

In their book Happiness Is a Choice, Dr. Minirth and Dr. Meier explain,

Select your friends very carefully, because you will become more and more like your friends whether you intend to or not!… You should have a few non-Christian friends as well, but if you are a committed Christian, you will want your most intimate friends to be committed Christians also.

Don’t overestimate your own spiritual strength. It is much easier than most Christians think for a non-Christian friend to bring a Christian down spiritually. In Proverbs 27:17, wise King Solomon wrote that “as iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.”

Father, I want to be close to people who have a relationship with You. Help me foster genuine friendships with those who know and love You.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 268). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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