“This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” John 15:12
Have you ever been told that you should be friends with everyone? Have you ever felt guilty because you just could not see eye-to-eye with someone, and it led to disagreements with that person? Many times I have asked the question, “As a Christian, am I required to be friends with everyone?”. I believe the answer to this question is “yes” AND “no”.
I have three questions that one should ask themself before becoming friends with everyone they meet.
1. Does becoming friends with this person mean that you are disobeying your parents?
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.” Ephesians 6:1-3
If your answer to this question is yes, then becoming friends with this person does not allow you to be in alignment with God’s Word.
As Christians, children should always obey their parents. Children have parents for many reasons, one of them being they are protectors in your life. They are given the job of looking after their children. Watching who comes into their children’s lives is one thing that comes along with that. Your parents want what is best for you, including good influences in your life. Listening to your parents advice and instructions can save you a lot of unnecessary hurt and pain in the long run.
2. Do they help you maintain & grow in your relationship with God?
“He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” Proverbs 13:20
In this scripture you can read that God does not want us to put ourselves in friendships that could bring our relationship with Him any harm. We need to have discernment. God can give us this discernment, if we ask Him. A true Christian friend will want to see you grow in the Lord and would never encourage you to be disobedient to your parents, or to The Word of God. Parents will do their very best to protect their children in all ways that they can. In that same way that we should do all we can to protect our walk with God. Do not remain in a relationship with someone when it puts your relationship with God as risk.
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” 2 Corinthians 6:14
3. Do you have peace when you are around them?
Do you ever feel guilty when you hang out with a certain crowd? Maybe you are tempted to do things that you know are wrong when you hang out with a certain friend(s). If you do not have peace about a friendship, this could be discernment that God has given you. It could be God’s way of warning you about a person’s negative influence on your life.
“But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” Hebrews 5:14
Maybe you struggle with getting along with a person, no matter how hard you try. One of the most important things in a situation like this is to make sure your heart is right. If you are holding on to grudges, jealousy, or anger towards a person then it is time to take this to God and let these things go. Maybe the reason you do not have peace when you are around someone, is because you have allowed things in your heart to come between you and the other person.
It is quite nearly impossible for someone to be “best friends” with everyone, but as the Bible directs us, we should try to be at peace with all of those around us.
“If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” Romans 12:18
If you are not disobeying your parents in having a friendship, if this person does not hinder your walk with God, or the Lord has not warned you or given you unrest about a relationship you have with someone, then it may be time to examine your heart towards that person. God is able to change your feelings towards a person if they are not aligned with His word. We must remember that while being friends with everyone is not a requirement, we are required to love everyone, just as Christ has loved us.
“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32
— Joy Morgan