“Show me who your friends are, and I’ll tell you who you are”
Growing up, I had one constant best friend with a few friends in between. When we both gave our lives to Christ, our friendship circles got even smaller. So I prayed for friends, lots of friends, after graduating high school about 10 years ago.
And guess what? God delivered. He gave me more friends than I could count, and for that, I was so grateful. I thought my new friendships would help me with loneliness, help me to have more fun, and that I would not feel like that high school student without friends.
Over the years as I have grown and matured, I realized quality truly is better over quantity with most things. God is my greatest confidant, and I have chosen to water friendships that are rich, deep, sharpening, and fruitful.
“Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.” Matthew 7:20 (NLT)
This passage of scripture is talking about false prophets, but the principle of this scripture still remains.
Just because someone says they are a Christian, and they go to church does not mean that they are your long lost best friend! We all know the saying, “going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you an automobile.”
It can be easy to end a friendship sometimes if someone’s beliefs are completely different from your own, but what about when that person is a Christian, and their fruit doesn’t look like the fruit of Christ?
I have realized that even if a person walks like a Christian and talks like a Christian, if their life does not bear fruit like Christ then that says something powerful about their life.
It says something powerful about all of our lives.
When we surround ourselves with people who do not have the fruit of Christ, it can cause us to live a life full of sin or complacency. In the past, I had friendships rooted in gossip and competition. Some of these friends oftentimes lied and manipulated me.
I found myself wanting to stay in these friendships at times to have friendships and confidants. But the truth is that I did not need those types of confidants.
“Iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”
Proverbs 27:17 (NLT)
True friendships that bear fruit like Christ will be Christ honoring, sharpening, and encouraging.
Do your friendships sharpen you? Does your life bear fruit like Christ?
Seek friendships that are rich, deep, sharpening and fruitful. Make sure your friendships are not just for show like those plastic fruit baskets we see on the dining room table at our grandparents homes.
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT)