Friends determine the quality of our lives but also impact our direction.
The people closest to us have the unique ability to either keep us focused on walking in a positive direction and who God intends us to be – or pull us away and sidetrack us.
Proverbs 13:20 says, “Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.”
Wisdom is contagious. If we surround ourselves with wise people in our life, we will gain wisdom.
Take a look at who's closest to you
And if you need a framework for doing that, think about your friendships in three concentric circles.
Acquaintances: 100 People
This larger group of people know your name and may even learn a few things about you, but nothing intimate—guys in your fraternity, sisters in your sorority, or co-workers in your division.
Personal: 10-12 People
This could be a group at LCBC, your sports team, immediate family, or close friends you’ve had for years.
Close: 1-3 People
This should be your spouse if you’re married. Maybe a friend who knows a few things about you that nobody else knows, or someone you share deep struggles and victories with.
We all have a choice over how far we let people influence us. Some people may currently sit in the close circle and need to move out further. And some in the acquaintance lane that we should make an effort to get to know better on a deeper level.
Be intentional about who's closest to you
It’s easy to drift into friendships without intentionality just because we sit in the cubicle next to them or desk behind them in class. Or even just because we grew up with them. It’s easy to just drift toward the first people to accept us.
We need to surround ourselves with people who will do more than just accept us on a base level. We need people to see our blind spots and challenge us to overcome them. You can only grow to the point that you are willing to allow a few people close enough to see you as you are and challenge you past it.
We need to ask ourselves these questions:
Do we have people who will push us forward to succeed?
Do we have people close who affirm our convictions?
Do we have people who remind us of who we are in Christ?
Do we have people who fight to see us pursue God’s calling in our lives?
To step into God's direction for our lives, it’s critical to surround yourself with those who will help direct us.
One of the best ways to do this is by joining a group.
The goal of getting into a group isn’t to find your best friend, but to provide environments to find like-minded people who want to follow Jesus and encourage each other. Sometimes they even begin to form deep, close friendships.
Here at LCBC, we have groups based on topics and activities. Groups related to parenting, marriage, anxiety, and mentoring. Groups meet over biking, golfing, basketball, fishing, and serving.
Write down the names of 20-30 people you know in various areas of your life, and then ask what circle they’re in and should they be.
Let’s think about where we want to go in life, remember who God has called us to be, and determine who we can bring along to help us achieve it.
If you're interested in other content about friendships & wisdom, check out:
Mark's Story: A Foundation for True Friendship
The Book of Proverbs: Bible Reading Plan
Where Do We Get Our Wisdom From?
4 Ways to Help Your Child Build Healthy Friendships
LCBC stands for Lives Changed By Christ. We are one church in multiple locations across Pennsylvania. Find the location closest to you or join us for Church Online. We can’t wait to connect with you!