How To Choose The Right Friends

Stay away from toxic relationships, for your own safety and protection. What are toxic relationships? They are relationships which are dangerous, because of the character of the persons befriended. Friendships are an important part of life, vital to our over-all growth and development as human beings. In this day and time, to have just two or three good, wholesome and real friends is a blessing. In an age when we must watch the company we keep and do our best to avoid bad company, it is up to us to ensure that we choose friends who practice good habits and who are authentic in godly behavior. The Holy Bible warns us that evil companionships and associations corrupt and deprave good manners and morals. (1 Corinthians 15:33, The Amplified Bible) This means that the company we keep can influence us for the worst if we do not choose our friends wisely.

But how can we determine what friendships are good for us and what friendships are not? I firmly believe that it is not difficult to make the right decisions when it comes to friendships. But it does take strength, for we will have to be willing to pull away from the people who exhibit negative and destructive attitudes and behaviors. This takes both discernment and guts.

Here are a few tips for choosing and developing good friendships. I am aware that people can change, but my encouragement is that if someone is practicing wrong, improper and ungodly behavior, avoid that person. If they revisit and improve their character, and over time, prove that they have really changed, then you can develop friendship with them, with caution.

1. Decide what kind of friends you want to have.

2. When entering a new friendship, carefully discern and ponder what kind of the things the person or persons are into. What do they like to do? Are their actions good, wholesome and godly? If they are liars, then you may want to avoid their friendships. If they love picking fights, and are of a violent disposition, then stay away from them. If they drink and take toxic drugs, run. Get away from them. And if they do not practice the previous, but hang with those who do, stay away from them all. What they are doing may look like fun, but these practices are destructive and should be avoided at all costs.

3. Learn to be yourself and let people desire your friendship, who will receive you for who you are. So many people try to be somebody else, just to have friends and hang out with the so-called right crowd. But true friendships are the result of people being able and free to be themselves. So do not compromise your originality for the sake of friendships. Believe me when I say that there are people who want to be your friends, who will appreciate you for being yourself.

Sheldon D. Newton is an inspirational and motivational speaker, teacher, pastor and seminar lecturer. He is the Founder and Senior pastor of Jesus Christ Centered Ministries International and the author of various books including, Refuse to Live the Common Life, The Positive Power of Biblical Affirmations, Humility and the Honor of God and True Spirituality, available at

His burning purpose is to see lives transformed through the application of timeless and godly principles, which will enable them to live better lives of peace, wholeness and fulfillment. This purpose has taken him throughout the islands of the Bahamas, The United States of America and The British Virgin Islands.

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