Your Close Friendship Circle

SCRIPTURE:  “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”  Prov. 13:20  (NASB)
     
No matter what your age, you cannot afford to become cavalier about who you include in your inner circle of friends.  Even Christ our Lord had an inner circle during the days of His flesh.  Those disciples who accompanied Him on the Mount of Transfiguration were certainly so classified—Peter, James, and John (Matthew 17:1-9).   Have you ever considered why Jesus chose those three to catch a physical glimpse of His unveiled deity?  Perhaps He chose them because He could trust them with His directive to NOT reveal the vision to anyone until He arose from the dead.  (Matt. 17:9).  The importance of trust among close friends cannot be overstated.  Christ in His wisdom wanted to avoid creating a lot of confusion; He knew that the multitudes would try to force kingship upon Him for purely humanistic or political reasons.  [Tony Evans Commentary, p. 896] That said, if even Christ Jesus employed discernment and thoughtfulness in His selection of close friends, should we, His people, NOT do likewise?  
       
Discernment in this area of close friend selection does not exclude grace on our part.  While we are never to go around judging people as “saved” or “unsaved,” we are commanded to be “fruit inspectors.”  Note the wisdom of 1 Corinthians 4:5, to “… judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts.”  One will not err too far in applying the wisdom of Matthew 7:15-17 to more than just recognizing (and shunning) the teaching of false prophets.  Satan cannot steal our salvation, but an indiscriminately selected close friend circle can gradually and yet surely make subtle inroads into our own behavior and thought patterns, thereby tainting our witness for Christ.
   
 In conclusion, dear reader, I will paraphrase the words of a writer from an Online article who stated the matter rather succinctly: “When we associate with or take delight in the company of people [with habitually worldly morals], we run the risk over time of mimicking their behaviors, their language, and their habits.” (gotquestions.com)

PRAYER:  Dear Abba, I thank You for revealing in Your Word the many necessities for our employing wisdom, discernment, and vigilance when it comes to selecting an inner friendship circle.  Lack of caution in doing so can cost us in ways that are not beneficial or edifying to our spiritual growth. Amen!

(by Denise Diggs)  

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