Proverbs 27:17 (NCV) As iron sharpens iron, so people can improve each other.
This verse in Proverbs 27 reminds me of how thankful I am for the genuine friendships I’ve found along my journey as a Christ follower. Before I started really walking with Christ, my friendships were based on things my friends and I had in common. That makes sense right? Well, sadly some of those things were not necessarily good for me. I’m not saying that my Christians friends and I don’t have things in common…we do but there is a difference between those who are living by the guidelines Jesus set forth in his word. When I was “walking in the ways of this world,” and asked worldly friends for advice…they gave worldly advice that didn’t necessarily align with the truth of God’s word. Sadly, some of those “friends” I no longer have contact with because of the “advice” I was given.
One thing I’ve realized is that it is so easy to take on the characteristics of the company you keep. Looking back at my life before Christ, I am amazed at how far I allowed myself to be taken away from the person I actually was by listening to the advice of so called friends. These “friends” really didn’t care about me at all. They thought like the world and gave advice based on the things of this world.
When I started attending the church I go to now, I was blown away by the genuineness of the friends I have found there. Since giving my life to Christ, I have found friends that actually care about the direction of my feet. They challenge me to look at the path I am on and where it will lead. Believe me, we have had several heated discussions, some that would have most people throwing their hands up and saying “I don’t need this!” But these are the discussions that have grown and shaped me the most. My friends in Christ have challenged me to grow in my relationship with Christ and have held me accountable.
I am so thankful that God has placed these people in my life. I am truly a better person today because of them.
Related reading: Proverbs 27:6; Ecclesiastes 4:12; 1 Thes. 5:11