Choose Friends Who Strengthen Your Character—Not Harm ItThe dictionary defines “friend” as “a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.”

This definition is accurate, as far as it goes. But when one examines the deeper meaning of friendship, many more descriptors come to mind such as trustworthiness, loyalty, helpfulness, kindness, understanding, forgiveness, encouragement, humor, and cheerfulness, to mention but a few. A trusted friend can help someone discover God’s unfolding purposes for their life. Seek a friend who is wise, honest, and encouraging.

Suppose one genuinely wants to strengthen one’s character. In that case, one must build closer relationships with people who want to do the same. That’s why fellowship with like-minded believers should be integral to every believer’s life. Friendships should be uplifting, enlightening, encouraging, and (above all) character-building.

Having friends who seek God’s will and obey God’s Word is wise. One place to look for friends like this is in a local church. Another place is in a Life Recovery Group. Find one online or in-person here.

When one builds lasting friendships pleasing to God—relationships with godly men and women whose values are admirable and whose intentions are honorable—they will be richly blessed. But suppose someone spends time with folks whose priorities are as questionable as their ethics. In that case, they’re treading on dangerous grounds. So, here’s an invaluable tip for character building: Choose friends carefully.

When choosing a friend, be less concerned with their appearances and more about them having integrity. Resolve to be a trustworthy, encouraging, loyal friend to others. It should be a genuine friend who—through their presence and their love—is helping others to build their character. Friendship is a glorious gift praised by God. Give thanks for that gift and nurture it.

When it comes to choosing friends, remember Proverbs 27:17, which teaches the importance of choosing good friends when it says, “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”

By Steve Arterburn