The company we keep makes a big difference between whether we move forward in spiritual maturity or backslide into sin. Paul tells us in I Corinthians 15:33, “Bad company corrupts good character.” Never consider yourself too strong to heed the apostle’s warning.
The book of Proverbs, on the other hand, offers this wisdom for skillful living: “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Wood doesn’t sharpen iron; neither does stone. When it comes to intimate friendships, like needs like. So with this in mind, you ought to be spending time with people who will sharpen your thinking, support you with prayer, and encourage you with their character.
Friends who live their lives without self-pity and bitterness can nurture your growth. Although it can be good to get input from people who struggle with the same temptations you do, try to spend time with people who have a history of struggling honestly, faithfully, and receptively with these issues. Whiners, pessimists, complainers, and people with hopeless indifference simply don’t make good friends.
We all need other people. But none of us need people who will drag us in a direction that goes against God’s high calling upon our lives. We need others who will encourage us, confront us, and continually nudge us in the right direction. Choose friends like these, and you’ll be choosing your friends wisely.