This edition from Simon and Schuster has been totally revised with expanded teachings and a study guide. Available in stores and online now!


   
Connect with Clare and others
about the book


Read what these people are saying about The 10 Second Rule
Click Here to Read Their Endorsements


  • Bill Hybels
  • Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Chip Ingram
  • Ed Dobson
  • Dick DeVos
  • Betty Huizenga
  • John Ortberg
  • Joe Stowell
  • David Green
  • Jim Samra
  • John Guest
  • Bob Buford
  • And More...
Free Resources (more)



4079 Park East Court, Suite 102
Grand Rapids, MI 49546
P. 616-942-0041
E.

The 10 Second Rule™ is a registered trademark.
Comments & Privacy Policy
Terms & Conditions
0

We Are Often the Average of Our Five Closest Friends
Posted by Clare
Send This Post to a Friend Send This Post to a Friend

I’ve been reflecting on a statement I heard a few months back. A trusted friend said, “we (Christians) are the average of our five closest friends.” When I pressed him for details, he couldn’t explain why. He simply has observed that to be true in his own life and in the lives of other Christians he’s known. It’s a variation of an old adage that, “Birds of a feather, stick together.”

I think my friend is right. And here’s why that may be true.

We want to belong
Very few of us Christians pray regularly for the friends we’d like to have some day, then sit down and make out a list of the most spiritually mature people we know, and make friends with them.

The truth is, most of us simply gravitate to certain Christians, for all kinds of reasons, spiritual and otherwise. It could be they have kids the same age as ours, or they are in the same social/economic class we are, or aspire to be in. It could be as shallow as the way they dress, and as compelling as the character qualities we admire in them.

However, we ended up with the friends we have, the common denominator is that all of us desperately want to belong. We want to be accepted by that group. Here are some implementations of that truth;

  • We will generally not challenge the consensus unbiblical beliefs held by our friends.
  • We will not generally challenge any unbiblical behavior by our friends.
  • Unbiblical beliefs and behaviors that go unchallenged long enough generally become our own.

For better or worse, we become the average of our five closest friends!
So, right now, think of your five closest friends, before you read on. If you have deeply spiritual friends who love God, love you and others, you are truly blessed. If not, you have a decision to make;

Either you will become like them, or they will become like you. Either you will be the influenced or you’ll be the influencer. If you stay silent, you will become (or remain) like them.

30+ years ago, I found myself in just that position. I was a brand new Christian who had many traditional Christian friends but not many were sold out to Jesus. And many of them had some of the very same bad habits I had and was trying desperately to leave behind me.

After a few years, the Holy Spirit finally gave me the wisdom and the courage to speak to some of them about my own sins, (hoping they’d recognize theirs as well). And some did admit them and we talked about it and helped each other to be more Christ-like. Others just thought I’d become a Jesus Freak and was being judgmental. (An accusation that was often true.)

Nevertheless, slowly my friendships changed for the good. I became more like my spiritual friends. They prayed for me. They cheered me on. They loved me. My new friends shaped me and I shaped them in ways my old friends never could.

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17

“The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.” Proverbs 12:26

“One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24

So, has your wife or husband ever said to you, “you’re beginning to sound (or act) like your friends.” Ask your spouse this question; “Which of our friends do you think are helping me mature spiritually and which ones are hold me (or us) back?”

Question: Are your friends cheering you on to godliness, or tempting you to sin or spiritual mediocrity?

How following Jesus works in real life. 

If you found this blog and are not a regular subscriber,
you can take care of that right HERE.

Send This Post to a Friend Send This Post to a Friend


Share on Twitter
Share on Facebook
Would You Like to Subscribe to this Blog
Comments (0)
Comments

No comments have been posted.
Leave a Comment
To leave a comment on this post, please fill out the form below.






Hey, let's talk about a few ground rules so this will be a great experience for all of us.

1. I reserve the right to delete or not post comments that in my opinion are not God-honoring, critical of any person, or off topic. If in doubt, please read My Comments and Privacy Policy.

2. I require an email address with every comment, or post for accountability, but it won't be displayed with your post.

3. I'll never sell or share any user’s email address or personal information collected from comments, posts, subscriptions or gathered from purchases from our store.

4. Please do your best to keep comments or postings brief, or they may not be posted.