Every now and then it's just good to take inventory of our friendships and see if a little pruning is needed.
Of course, we know that there are different levels of friendship.
- There's the neighbor across the way that we might extend small talk and greetings to in passing and sometimes provide a helping hand;
- There's the church sister or brother that we fellowship with outside of church service, the ones that offer us encouragement and support and to whom we reciprocate the same;
- There's our group of general acquaintances;
How do we determine who is worthy to enter that inner circle?
1. "Birds of a feather flock together, and so will pigs and swine." This has always been and always will be true. Our friends should share our same basic core of spiritual beliefs, values, morals, and convictions. They don't have to be our carbon copies, but they should have both feet planted with us on the same foundational pillar.
2. "Loose lips sink ships." Can our friends be trusted to keep a confidence, even in the face of peer pressure? Or are there consistent information leaks with your private business being laid open to public scrutiny?
3. "A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out." Are your friends people that you can really depend on ... or are they only there when things are going good and there's something in it for them?
4. "Everyone is a friend, until they prove otherwise." Has your friendship been proven through trials and challenges?
5. "A friend is someone who is there for you when he'd rather be anywhere else." Do your friends sacrifice for you when needed ... without being asked? Or are you always the one found to be making the sacrifices?
"True friends are like diamonds, precious but rare. False friends are like autumn leaves, found everywhere."
Choose your friends carefully. As we walk our spiritual journey friends can either help us find the way or lead us astray.
Do you have friends in your life who really make a difference in the quality of your life? In what way do they make a difference?
"... and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother." Proverbs 18:24b
*Proverbs listed above; sources unknown.