The danger of unhelpful friendships
Why some of your friends may be causing you more harm than good.
Have you ever thought that having friends could be a bad thing? Well, there are some reasons why we need to be careful with our friendships.
Hollywood movies love to make stories about friendships where one of the parties turns out to be a psychopathic killer. It is relatively unlikely to happen to you, but there are other dangers with friendship.
One of the potential problems with friendships is exclusiveness. Just the fact of having some people as friends means that other people are not friends. It’s an easy step from choosing this person to excluding that person. The danger is that we start to become ‘exclusive’ and put ourselves up against other people.
Exclusiveness is basically pride. Even when we have personal friends, we must not fall into the danger of thinking we and our friends are better than the rest of the world.
Remember what Jesus says in Matthew 7:12 "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets".
Being led astray
When two or more people get an idea, stuff happens. World changing movements have come about because of friendships. The abolition of slavery, the reformation, the Renaissance, Marxism, female suffrage, the breakdown of apartheid -- all of these were fueled by friendships. Having others with us spurs us on and makes us strong to do things that would be impossible alone. However, the opposite can also be true. Friends can encourage us in behaviours that God would not want to see in us. They can also pressure us to skip youth group, or stop going to church.
In the end, if our friendships are leading us away from Jesus, we need to take the advice of Proverbs 4: 14-15:
"Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers. Avoid it, do not travel on it, turn from it and go on your way".
Maybe today is a good day to examine your friendships. Are your friendships leading you away from Jesus?