A friend loves at all times… (Proverbs 17:17)
Having healthy, solid relationships is one of the most important aspects of health. It affects every aspect of a person’s well-being: spiritual, emotional, and even physical. The people you choose to spend the most time with are the people you are going to become most like. We pick up the character qualities of our closest friends and if their habits, character traits, and thought processes are destructive, then ours will be as well. This has been proven time and time again.
To illustrate this, try pulling one of your friends up a flight of stairs. It is quite a difficult task! Now, try to pull them down the stairs. It does not matter their weight or how much they resist – it is much simpler to pull someone down than to pull them up. This is not only true according to the law of gravity; it is true in friendships as well.
If your friends are always bringing you down emotionally, or if they practice unhealthy or destructive habits, or even if they are just not striving to do the things God has called them to do, and you are trying to live a spiritually healthy life, then you are going to have a hard time doing so.
If you consistently spend your time with people who are pulling you down then you are going to be emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and probably even physically exhausted. Eventually you will end up being pulled down the stairs-and the fall might be a very painful experience.How do we keep from experiencing such falls? How do we make sure to make friends that join us in climbing and reaching for bigger, better, and higher goals.
Carefully choose your closest friends. Your inner circle of friends should be very small-Jesus had three in His inner circle. These are the people who are going to pour into your life the most. The inner circle is the most important to fill with the right people, and it is also the most difficult. Be very cautious with who you let into your inner circle. They will influence you and determine the direction of your life.
How to choose your inner circle of friends? Choose people that will help you grow in your relationship with Christ and to fulfill the calling God has placed on your life. We need our inner circle friends to encourage and build us up. Whether they are criticizing us or praising us, it has to be for the purpose of edifying and helping us grow.
Think about your circle of friends. Are they building you up or pulling you down?