“Show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future.” -Pastor Peter Haas
Genesis chapter one is known as the creation story. For 31 verses, the Master Artist carefully designs every little detail from the veins in the leaves, to the color of the birds’ wings, to the movement of the sea. Each thing the Creator forms He saw that it “was very good” (Genesis 1:31, ESV).
In Genesis 2, the Artist grabs His cold brew, preparing to truly show off with His most fascinating production yet. In one breath, He wows all of creation with the formation of man. Again, we witness another good design.
It’s in verse 18 that the Lord speaks what we have not heard Him say as of yet, “It is not good…” What, we ask, in all that You have created cannot be good? He continues “…that man should be alone; I will make a helper fit for him” (Genesis 2:18, ESV).
When man first steps on the scene of the creation story, God demonstrates the need for him to have someone by his side — a helper. Other words for helper include: backup, right-hand man/woman, and friend. God did not just provide Adam with any random person to keep him company. Rather, He created Eve, a “helper fit for him” (Genesis 2:20b, ESV).
We cannot read Genesis 2 and walk away thinking that God does not care about who we surround ourselves with, or ignore the importance in having the right people in our inner circle. Jesus modeled this for us very well. Although He spent time and built relationships with 12 disciples, it was Peter, James and John that Jesus chose to include within His inner circle. It was these three who witnessed the miracle of raising Jairus’ Daughter (Mark 5:37). It was to only these men that Jesus revealed the fullness of His identity to (Mark 9:2-7); and when Jesus was overcome with the distress of His upcoming arrest and the cross, it was these three Jesus chose to be fully vulnerable with (Mark 14:33 & 34).
If Jesus used wisdom, caution, and intentionality with whom He chose to share His heart, glory, and deepest emotions with, then why should we take our friendships any less seriously? How often do we consider the importance and value in the individuals we are spending the most time with, and being the most vulnerable with? How frequently do we assess our own responsibility as a friend to others?
The Bible is so very clear about the impact of who we surround ourselves with:
- Paul shares, “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character’” (1 Corinthians 15:33, NIV).
- Proverbs 22:24-25 explains, “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person… or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared” (NIV).
- Proverbs 13:20 advises, “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm” (NIV).
- When demonstrating the value of a good friend, Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 states, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up” (NIV).
- Lastly, Proverbs 12:26 explains “The righteous choose their friends carefully” (NIV).
The scriptures supporting the value of a good friend, and caution when choosing who you surround yourself with far surpasses the list I have included above. There is then no question that God sees great value in friendships and their quality.
I encourage you to seek God in this–to ask Him who should be in your inner circle, and to advise you on being a friend who “sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24, NIV). As He did with Adam, God can provide you with the helpers (friends) you need in this season, and grow you into the person those around you need alongside them. I have found such life in the close friendships I have, and I am confident God can provide that for you as well.
For more information on the value of friendships, and how to choose right relationships, see the links below to two of Peter Haas’ blogs on the topic.