Friendships are a good thing, provided they edify us and build us up in Christ. While it's a blessing to have godly and righteous friends, the opposite is also true: unrighteous and wicked friends can influence us to do what is wrong.
This is why the Bible warns us about choosing the right friends.
That said, here are a few things every Christian should remember when they are making friends with other people. These aren't necessarily ways to make friends. These are simply things to consider and think about when reaching out.
1) Know your purpose
Before you ever make friends with anybody, ask yourself, "what's my purpose in this?" Many of us ignore this, and so end up with all the wrong friends.
Don't get me wrong. The Bible tells us that we should be peacemakers, but at the same time it teaches us to be wise when we conduct ourselves towards people, and the same goes for making friends.
Ask yourself, what is the purpose of your friendship? Is it because you want to be a blessing to someone's life? Or do you want to reach them out for the sake of Christ? Or maybe because you think they're a cool bunch and so you want to join in and be considered "cool" yourself? Be honest with yourself and know your real intentions.
2) Keep in mind that your choice of friends will affect you
Many of us, thinking that we will be a good influence to others, end up being influenced by them. While that could be good if the person we befriend is a good influence, what if the people we choose to make friends with are actually doing wrong things?
Guys, no matter how "strong" we think we are, the Bible's words still hold true:
"Do not be deceived: "Evil company corrupts good habits."" (1 Corinthians 15:33)
3) It's not a sin to choose who to befriend
Some people think it's a sin not to be friendly. Wrong. It's a sin to be unequally yoked with people who hate God.
"Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?" (2 Corinthians 6:14-15)
Yes, we are commanded to preach the Gospel to all men, especially unbelievers. But we are also warned against having fellowship with them. Why?
Webster defines fellowship as the "mutual association of persons on equal and friendly terms" and also as a "joint interest." Simply put, to fellowship with others means having a mutual relationship based on the same interests. There's a sharing or exchange of beliefs and ideas.
If this is how it really means, then we cannot fellowship with those who do not love God. We can reach out to them, pray for them, and love them by bringing them to Christ, but we should be careful not to accept their beliefs into our own. We don't have the same faith.
So friends, choose to make friends with the right people. Reach out to and pray for as many as you can, but only choose a few people whom you can trust with your life.