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It is incredibly important to make new radical friendships once you have completely committed your life to Jesus. You may need to cut off friendships with people from your past life.

You might need to end your friendships, or at least quit hanging around with those who are not saved. It also means you may have to cut off those who are only halfhearted in their walk with God. The old friends probably will not understand why you are doing it, but God will.

Levels of Friendships
  • Acquaintances
    These are people we know, and we may even refer to them as friends. You may have known them for years, but the fact is, you really know nothing more about them than their name.

    These people usually have a lot of peer pressure influence on us even though we actually are not very close to them. This is the lowest form of friendship.
  • Pseudo-Close Friendships
    Another name for this kind of friend is "social friends." This is where the majority of people are in their friendships. They say they are friends but they do not really know each other.

    These are people that you might hang out with, play sports with, or even go to church with. It is kind of a fake closeness.

    This kind of friendship is often found in church groups. It's kind of like it was in high school: the teens go to camp together, have cookouts together, and meet in the same room for youth group meetings every Wednesday night for years.

    They sing, "Kum Ba Yah," and, "Friends are Friends Forever," and every one feels goose bumps together. They cry together at the altar every chance they get. The truth is that they hardly know each other. It is a false sense of closeness.

    Gangs all over North America have these kinds of friendships. They think they are close because they dress the same way and hang out together. They feel secure because they have others who are looking for friendships, but have they really found close friends?
  • Close Friends
    These are people you have really taken some time to get to know. There may be only a few people in your life you would classify as "close friends." Being a friend like this requires that you let down your guard and let someone know you for who you really are.

    This is kind of scary for some people because they hide behind a mask most of the time. So many people fail to develop close friends even within their church because they are afraid to be gut-level honest with others.

    Christians have the best possibility for developing close friends since their lives are centered in Jesus Christ.
  • In-This-'Til-The-End Friend
    This is the highest form of friendship known to mankind. This is the kind of relationship that ends up changing the world. Paul and Silas had it. Moses and Aaron had it. Elijah and Elisha had it. Jonathan and David had it.
Jonathan and David—How They Did It
Let's look at Jonathan and David's friendship to see what it was like and how it got that way.
  1. What pulled them together. First, let's look at Jonathan. He was the kind of guy who had a lot of guts and wanted to do something for God.

    First Samuel 14 tells the story of how the Israelites were surrounded by the Philistines out in the middle of nowhere. Jonathan had an itch. He saw all the other solders (about 300 of them) scared and confused, and he did not want to be one of them.

    He took his armor bearer and said, "Let's go and look at those guys and just see what happens, maybe God will act on our behalf."

    He had an idea: Just maybe God will do something great. Maybe God will blow them off the face of the earth. Jonathan had courage to live on the edge for God, even if it meant risking his life for Him.

    I can just imagine how excited Jonathan was to find someone else who had the guts to stand up for the Lord. Finally, he found someone who could relate to his desire to do something wild for God.

    I can feel the excitement he felt when he grabbed David and hugged him and probably said something like, "I finally found my friend!" First Samuel 18:1 says they became "one in spirit."

    The first ingredient for a friendship like Jonathan and David had is a passion to live on the edge for God.
  2. They loved each other as much as they loved themselves. First Samuel 18:1 says they loved each other like this. They looked out for each other's good before their own. In 1 Samuel 20:8, David referred to himself as Jonathan's servant.

    This is why Christians have the best possibilities of being this kind of friend. You do not have to look out for number one any more, God looks out for you. You can really rejoice when your friend gets blessed or gets a promotion.

    You never get jealous, because you want his best. Jesus said, "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13).

    The second ingredient: serving each other and wanting each other's best.
  3. They made a covenant together. First Samuel 18:3-4 describes the kind of commitment they made: "And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt."

    They made a promise to stick with each other until the end. They were out to help each other succeed.

    This kind of friendship is called accountability friendship. These kinds of friends make a commitment to help each other grow in the Lord. It is a commitment to push each other to get closer to God. It is giving your friend permission to get in your face!

    When you make this kind of commitment, you tell your friend, "I'm going to help you become that radical fireball for God that you told me you wanted to be." It means that you say, "I love you too much to let you backslide, sin, compromise, or mess up your life."

    In this level of friendship, you share your greatest fears and really pray for each other. You are determined to go after God with all you've got.

    The third ingredient: a commitment to an accountability friendship.
It is time for you to get a friendship like this. You cannot try to live the Christian life with only a bunch of shallow friendships around you (especially if some of these friends are not even Christians).

You are going to have to cut off close friendships with those who do not know Jesus and with those who are halfhearted for God. At the very least, you can no longer have these people as your closest friends.

It is time to let someone get in your face. It is time to get an accountability friendship.

Here are some things you can commit to do with your accountability friend:
  • Pray for each other. Really listen to what each other is going through and pray for each other.
  • Do the same Bible study together and commit to finish it.
  • Ask each other every day, "How was your devotional time with God today?"
  • Plan to stick with each other for at least one year and serve each other with a selfless attitude.
Find your in-it-'til the end friend today! That person will help you grow in the Lord maybe more than anything else in your life. That is a true friend.

Teen Mania Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Ron Luce
Web site: Ron Luce
Ron Luce was the co-founder and president of Teen Mania Ministries from 1986-2015. Ron and his wife Katie dreamed to raise young people who would change the world.

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