Learn From God’s Word
How Can We Choose Good Friends?
This article considers questions you may have raised and shows where you can read the answers in the Bible. Jehovah’s Witnesses would be pleased to discuss these answers with you.
1. Why should we select friends carefully?
Most people like to be accepted by others. This desire often makes us imitate those around us. So our friends have a powerful influence on the attitudes that develop in our heart. Thus, our choice of friends can influence the sort of person we will become.—Read Proverbs 4:23; 13:20.
The inspired Bible writer David selected his friends wisely. He associated with those who helped him keep his integrity as a servant of God. (Psalm 26:4, 5, 11, 12) For example, David enjoyed Jonathan’s friendship because Jonathan encouraged him to trust Jehovah.—Read 1 Samuel 23:16-18.
2. How can you be God’s friend?
Although Jehovah is almighty, we can actually become his friends. For example, Abraham became a friend of God. Abraham trusted and obeyed Jehovah, so Jehovah considered him as a friend. (Genesis 22:2, 9-12; James 2:21-23) If we trust Jehovah and do what he tells us to do, we can also become friends of God.—Read Psalm 15:1, 2.
3. How can you benefit from good friends?
True friends are loyal and help you to do what is right. (Proverbs 17:17; 18:24) For example, although Jonathan was likely 30 years older than David and would normally have been heir to the throne of Israel, he loyally supported David as the one chosen by God to be king. True friends also have the courage to correct you if they see that you are acting foolishly. (Psalm 141:5) Friends who love God will help you develop good habits.—Read 1 Corinthians 15:33.
You can meet people who share your love for what is right at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses. There you will find friends who will encourage you in your efforts to please God.—Read Hebrews 10:24, 25.
However, even friends who love God may sometimes disappoint us. Do not be easily offended by their mistakes. (Ecclesiastes 7:9, 20-22) Remember, no friend is perfect and friends who love God are valuable to us. God’s Word urges us to overlook the faults of fellow Christians.—Read Colossians 3:13.
4. What if “friends” oppose you?
Many people find that when they start receiving help to understand God’s Word, some of their old friends oppose them. Perhaps such friends do not understand the practical counsel or the sure hope that you have found in the Bible. Maybe you can help them.—Read Colossians 4:6.
In other cases, “friends” may ridicule the good news presented in God’s Word. (2 Peter 3:3, 4) Some may ridicule your efforts to do what is right. (1 Peter 4:4) If that happens to you, you may have to choose between being their friend and being God’s friend. If you choose to be a friend of God, you will have chosen the best friend anyone can have.—Read James 4:4, 8.
For more information, see chapters 12 and 19 of this book, What Does the Bible Really Teach?, published by Jehovah’s Witnesses.