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James 4:4 outlines the basic commitment for a friendship. This is a good verse to memorize.
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that friendship with the world is enmity to God, whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
(James 4:4)
The Amplified Bible says, "...Do you not know that being the world's friend is being God's enemy?..."

The Basis Of All Friendships
God tells you right here the basis for all your close friendships. It applies not only to the people you decide to be friends with, but to those you decide to separate from.

In fact, you can use it to set the groundwork for the separation. That way you can end the relationship more quickly instead of waiting and making things harder.

You've already made your decision. If they decide to reject Jesus (or to reject moving on with the Lord), which basically means they're rejecting the conditions of the relationship, then they've made their decision.

It's not a matter of your being too good for them. You just can't have close fellowship with them anymore.

Sometimes it's hard to tell where you have to draw the line to cut off wrong friendships or let go of people you have outgrown.

(By that I mean, spiritually; you and they no longer have anything in common, such as what happens when one person in the friendship gets saved and the other doesn't.)

The Word of God has some specific things to say about the friendships you establish past the casual stage. In fact, there are several scriptures that talk about questionable friendships and wrong relationships, because once you become a child of God, a distinction is made.
Be Ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?…Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you…
(2 Cor. 6:14,17)
If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed.
(2 John 1:10)
Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company,and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the son of man's sake.
(Luke 6:22)
Now it can be hard to break off a friendship you've had all your life. But there comes a point where you have to make some hard decisions. You have to examine the relationships around you and do whatever is necessary to line up with the Word of God.

The Word is your basis for establishing friendships, so your basic standard for every relationship is, if they don't want God, then they can't be your friend!

Family First
Sometimes you have to cut yourself off from other Christians too. I've had people actually get mad at me because I wouldn't run with them. As I said, my family was (and still is) my best friend, and I chose to run with them instead.

Once I had to tell one person, "Look, I don't call my mama or anybody until I've taken care of my family first." At the time, my kids were growing up and going through different things, and I was spending all of my time with them. So my attitude was, "What makes you think you're so important, demanding so much of the time that I need for my family?"

I have a responsibility to my children and my husband. God is going to hold me accountable for them. He's not going to hold my friends accountable. He's going to hold me accountable.

I was the one who chose to say, "I do." I was the one who chose to get pregnant and have children.

So I had to be responsible for those choices, which meant that all those other things that some people consider so important had to go by the wayside. They weren't as important.

What you have to realize is that some people will try to take their right to choose and force it on you. But just because someone chooses to be your friend doesn't mean you have to choose that person to be your friend.

We let people pressure us all the time into doing something because they want to do it. Everyone talks about peer pressure with teenagers, but there's adult pressure too.

Don't allow friends to crowd you or pressure you into doing things you don't want to do.

Source: Marriage And Family by Deborah L. Butler
Excerpt permission granted by Word Of Faith Publishing

Author Biography

Deborah Butler
Web site: Word of Faith International Christian Center
Pastor Deborah is a licensed and ordained minister of the Gospel. Her encouraging, yet down-to-earth teaching imparts wisdom from the Word of God to all that hear her speak. One of Pastor Butler's many duties is serving as the Director of God's BeYOUties, the women's ministry at Word of Faith in Southfield, and Faith4Life in Toledo. Pastor Deborah is often called to travel to other ministries to teach and admonish women to walk in the wisdom of God and to experience peace in every area of their lives.

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