A few days ago, my daughter walked to a store with a friend. She has known this friend for several months.
Before leaving the store, my daughter felt something was wrong. She didn’t know what it was but knew enough to listen to that inner voice. Her friend asked her to carry her bag and my daughter didn’t feel like it, so she told her to carry it herself.
Right after leaving the store, the manager came out and called my daughter and her friend over. My daughter didn’t understand why the man wanted to talk to them but she stopped to talk to him to get more information.
This new friend had stolen ice cream from the store and put it in her bag and then tried to set my daughter up as the one to be caught if she was carrying the bag.
My daughter was upset and couldn’t believe that this person, whom she thought was her friend, just stole and was willing to let her get in trouble. What kind of friend was this?
The man had every right to call the police but he didn’t. He also knew from looking at the cameras that my daughter had no idea that her friend was doing this. He could tell by her mannerisms that she was not involved. In fact, he was very kind to her.
Immediately after that encounter, my daughter called me and asked me to pick her up. On the way home, she kept mentioning about how she felt something was wrong and that she wasn’t supposed to take her friend’s bag. She didn’t know why. However, the manager could plainly see that the friend was pushing her bag on my daughter to hold.
I told my daughter that God was looking out for her and speaking to her spirit with a warning and what not to do. God also impressed upon that man to not press charges and show him her innocence in this situation.
So that leaves this question – What character should you be looking for in a friend?
In order to know what to look for, you first have to define good character – one with upright moral standards, honesty, good ethics, charity, and the word of others.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
When you think about the things it says to focus on in Phil. 4:8, it becomes a part of your character. My daughter thinks only the best of people which is always good. However, she was misguided into thinking if she saw enough good, that there were no other aspects of a person in which there could be bad character.
Character is influenced by our choices and eventually develops into good or bad character.
It doesn’t matter if your friends are Christian or not. Character is a part of development and everyone has it or learns it.
If you are not sure of the kind of character one has, look at their friends, get their opinions on different topics such as stealing and lying. Find out what is important to them in their friendships – loyalty, compassion, understanding, doing the right thing for another. By doing so, this will guide you to the right kind of person who will uplift and encourage you, not open doors for wrong and get you in trouble.
Proverbs 11:3 The integrity of the upright will guide them, but the crookedness of the treacherous will destroy them.
It is easy to believe in the best of others, especially Christians. You expect your friends to look out for you and help you and even to make you look good. It is always wise to ask for God’s advice and wisdom, even when it comes to friendships.
1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.”
No matter what friend comes your way, remember to look for integrity and moral beliefs that reflect God. By doing so, your steps will be strong as well as your faith in good friends. In the end, the truth of that person’s character will eventually come to the surface.
Proverbs 10:9 Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.
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