I am walking through a season of being more intentional in my life. Back in the beginning of the year, I wrote about three ways to live more intentionally.
I needed to sit back and reevaluate certain areas of my life. As Christians each of us should do this often. It’s easy to get swept into how the world lives. Quite passively. If we aren’t intentional, our days can be filled with work, social media, television, dinner dates, or children’s activities. Our focus begins to shift away from our relationship with God.
One area I’ve been focusing on lately has been my relationships. I’ve been asking myself (and God) what my relationships should look like. Because of the nature of my job and the closeness that develops from being locked inside a tiny tube with someone all day, “friendships” can form very quickly; however, it doesn’t mean these are healthy people for me to allow intimately in my life.
We are called to love people (1 John 4:7-8) and tell others about our Savior (Matthew 28:16-20). Those two instructions do not mean we need to allow unhealthy people to know us intimately as a close friend would. We can witness, disciple, instruct, and love without allowing the sinful behavior of other’s to cause us to stumble.
As I was seeking the role relationships play in my life, I came across an entry in my journal from a few months ago. It contained sermon notes from Charles Stanley’s sermon “Thinking Through Your Friendships.” Check it out. It really is fantastic stuff! Not only are these 5 traits to avoid when forming friendships, they are also actions we should avoid doing in our own life.
“A gossip goes around telling secrets, so don’t hang around with chatterers.” – Proverbs 20:19
“Don’t befriend angry people or associate with hot-tempered people, or you will learn to be like them and endanger your soul.” – Proverbs 22:24-25
Unreliable, Discontented People
“My son, fear the Lord and the king; Do not associate with those given to change; For their calamity will rise suddenly, And who knows the ruin those two can bring? – Proverbs 24:21-22
“Whoever keeps the law is a discerning son, But a companion of gluttons shames his father” – Proverbs 28:7
“The man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father, but if he hangs around with prostitutes, his wealth is wasted.” – Proverbs 29:3
Being a Christian is not a passive life. Throughout the Bible we are commanded to love others (Mark 12:31), create disciples (Matthew 28:19-20), pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
We are called to action, and action takes intention. Therefore, we should be purposeful in all facets of our lives including forming our community of friends. Start now. Find some time when you can sit down and reevaluate your relationships. What relationships are unhealthy that need a change and what relationships should you work harder to grow? What areas could you be a better friend? If you’re open to sharing, leave some thoughts below!