The Bible Urges Us to Make Good Friends, Avoid Bad Ones

Six friends gather together to watch the sunrise.
Six friends gather together to watch the sunrise. (photo:
By Essie Hu June 22nd, 2021

There goes a Chinese saying that good companions have a good influence while bad ones have a bad influence. We will take on the good attributes of our associates, but we may fall into a pit in the company of bad friends. There is an ancient story of Mencius’ mother who moved her home three times to better her son’s education.

Christians should have the wisdom of making friends who can help us grow.

Then what is a true friend? How can we be wise in making friends? The answer has been written in the Bible.

Let’s take a look at how these verses tell us.

There are five categories of persons considered as bad companions:

Proverbs 13:20 Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.

Proverbs 24:21-22 Fear the Lord and the king, my son,

    and do not join with rebellious officials.

for those two will send sudden destruction on them,

    and who knows what calamities they can bring?

Proverbs 22:24-25 Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person,

    do not associate with one easily angered,

      or you may learn their ways

    and get yourself ensnared.

Proverbs 20:19 A gossip betrays a confidence;

    so avoid anyone who talks too much.

Proverbs 23:20-21 Do not join those who drink too much wine

    or gorge themselves on meat,

      for drunkards and gluttons become poor,

    and drowsiness clothes them in rags.

Below are descriptions of five types of friends we should make:

Proverbs 27:5-6 Better is open rebuke

    than hidden love.

  Wounds from a friend can be trusted,

    but an enemy multiplies kisses.

Proverbs 27:10 Do not forsake your friend or a friend of your family, and do not go to your relative’s house when disaster strikes you — better a neighbor nearby than a relative far away.

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times,

    and a brother is born for a time of adversity.

Proverbs 19:22 What a person desires is unfailing love;

    better to be poor than a liar.

Proverbs 28:7 A discerning son heeds instruction,

    but a companion of gluttons disgraces his father.

- Translated by Karen Luo

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