Friendship is Essential to the Soul?

The sixth testimony is about meeting the right friends along the way.
There is a fraternity that has the motto "Friendship is essential to the soul." Perhaps, but 2 Corinthians 6:14 tells us that these friendships (fellowships or relationships, whatever word you wish to use) must not be unequally yoked. Believers are to be an example or a light to non-believers, but in the end, your ties should be strongest to other believers. It is much easier for non-believers to tempt believers to sin than for believers to sway non-believers to Jesus. As children, teenagers, and young-adults this is especially true. In our younger years we are much more prone to peer pressure and the desire to be popular or "cool." This makes us more easily swayed to go against what we've been taught or what we believe to seem cool.

I was blessed to have friends who were believers throughout my entire life. That's not to say we didn't do some things God frowned upon, only Jesus is perfect, but it was definitely helpful in terms of growing into my faith. God not only surrounded me with believers, but He surrounded me with believers from different denominations to continually spur my questions about what His Word was actually telling us. Many of my close friends were family members, we all attended the same church, and on Wednesday nights we were all at Youth Ministries. They couldn't pick at me for spending my Wednesday's in Bible Study because they were there, too; in fact it was probably more likely that I would have been shamed for not going. In middle school I became close friends with a Jehovah's Witness and a Mormon. High school brought me a friend who was Jewish and a friend who was Catholic when I met her, but is now Mormon. Being around friends with these different beliefs helped me to continually consult God about the right interpretation of His Word, but it also meant the suggested movie of the night was always appropriate. There were no scandalous activities or drunken parties. I was never out late and my definition of getting into trouble was chewing gum in class. This favor continued into college, where again I met God-fearing people to be my closest friends. We may have attended parties, but they didn't pressure me to get drunk or wear revealing outfits.

I have only one close friend that doesn't believe in Jesus; though I do have distant friends that have a myriad of beliefs. Most of those friends are agnostics, grappling with their faith and hopefully by having believers in their circle will find their way. My circle looks like this today because I've grown into a strong-minded Christian who won't stand for being pressured or ridiculed for my beliefs. I grew into that person because I had a wonderful support of friends growing up. God made sure that I was in the right place so that when the time comes I won't feel the need to hide my faith so I can blend in—I don't mind standing out.


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