3 Signs You Need New Friends
June 18, 2019 | The Vineyard Church
She had sounded panicky on the phone. Hospitalized. Alone. So even though it was almost midnight, I tore my tired body out of bed and sped to St. Joseph Regional Medical Center to see my friend.
I shouldn’t have hurried. In fact, I probably shouldn’t have bothered.
It took me all of two seconds after walking into the hospital room to realize that my friend wasn’t badly injured; she was just drunk. Very, very drunk.
I’d seen this before. Many times, in fact. I had somehow become the go-to girl for middle-of-the-night rescues and “extractions,” not just for this friend, but for several. I found myself picking up these friends from bars and clubs, restaurants and side streets on college campuses, and house parties out in the middle of nowhere. I had even bailed a friend out of jail once for a DUI.
“Wow. You need new friends!” seems to be the obvious answer now. But at that time in my life, the decision wasn’t so easy.
After many draining months, however, I came to realize an important distinction: While Jesus may have had compassion on the multitude, taught, and healed
So I began to wonder — how had these twelve made the cut when so many others hadn’t? When it comes to choosing friends, how could I be sure that I was building the right kinds of relationships to bring honor and glory to God?
If you find yourself making the following types of friendships, it might be a sign that you need new friends:
1. Friends with Fools.
How do you know if you are friends with fools? Psalm 14:1 identifies a fool as someone who says, “There is no God.” Yes, Jesus has called us to witness to the lost and to show them His love through us. But when our closest friendships are with the lost rather than with people who know Him as Savior, dangerous situations can result.
2 Corinthians 6:14 reminds us, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” When we become entangled in foolish friendships, they begin to take a toll. They can drain us physically, mentally, and emotionally. Worst of all, they can drain us spiritually. They can consume so much of our time and attention that we lose sight of why we began that friendship in the first place.
#2. Friends with Fakes.
So maybe you don’t have any friends who are fools. Maybe all of your closest friendships are with fellow believers. But it is still possible, even in Christian circles, to forge a friendship with “fakes.” In Jesus’ day, these fakes were known as Pharisees, and Jesus expressed some pretty harsh criticisms about them.
In Matthew 23:13, Jesus calls out the fakes of His day, saying, “Woe unto you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!” Why was He so upset? Throughout the chapter, Jesus explains that these Pharisees did not practice what they preached, that everything they did was for people to see and not out of genuine love for God.
Christian service is an amazing thing. We have been given the opportunity to move mountains for God, and it’s even better when there are Christian friends beside us to help. But it does matter to God that our words and actions match up with our hearts. And that goes for not only us but the friends we keep as well.
#3. Friends with Fatalists.
Beyond fools and fakes, we should also be cautious about forming friendships with fatalists. Spending time with a fatalist, someone with a hopeless or pessimistic view on life is much like voluntarily exposing yourself to a person with the measles, chickenpox, or Ebola. The negative, critical, or complaining spirit they carry, like an infectious disease, often spreads to anyone with whom they interact. And, yes, even a Christian can be a fatalist.
In Jesus’s time, these people were known as Sadducees. According to Matthew 22:23, this pessimistic gang of
The fatalist’s negative attitude demonstrates a lack of faith in God‘s goodness and His ability to handle things. Our God is a God of hope and it’s part of our responsibility as Christians to trust in and share that hope with the entire world. We can’t do that if we assume pessimistic character traits from fatalistic friends.
As for me and my current friend status? It’s been over three years since that last middle-of-the-night rescue. While my phone may not ring as much, I’m okay with it. Now that I have allowed God to weed out the less healthy friendships in my life, I have room to build the kinds of godly friendships He wants for me.
If nothing else, at least now I am enjoying a full night’s sleep.
What about you? Have you prayed through your friend list lately? The first step is