Choose the Right Friends
Proverbs 27:17 says we are to sharpen each other, yet far too often there are definite stab wounds visible. Even " in fun' or " just joking" stabs leave scars. Negative humor is not funny to the one who is the brunt of the joke. Eph 4:29 says dont let any talk come from your mouth which tears down, only that which builds up and encourages others in the faith." Stop and reflect what a wonderful church experience that would be if we all stopped and thought a moment and asked if Jesus were here( and he is), would this be something He would approve of, before "shooting from the lip". Invariably there will be "Church" people who are not very mature or wise because they have not become discipled. For those folks you have to apply a lot of grace and choose wisely with whom you share.
That is true in the world as well. Whether it is at work, or in social circles, or in church you need to carefully seek out people who are the "right friends"
Dr.Charles Townsend says we should look for these kinds of people around us:
1. People who influence you for the better, to become the person God intends you to be. Not to be around those who are negative or nasty and taking you down the drain. Ask yourself, "do I like who I am when I am around this person?"
2. People who fill you up,not drain you out. Sometimes we need a refill. When you are on "E" be careful who you are with. Recently after an exhaustive few days after a death of my wife's mother, my wife very graciously listened to someone's never ending personal lament. Not once in that time did that person share a concern for her loss. Can you say "selfie" shared in a new context here.
3.People who allow you to be real, without fear of your "real-ness" becoming the next facebook post. "A friend loves at all times" Prov 17:17.
4. People who help you grow in your faith. They encourage you to pray, to seek the bible's perspective and lead you there themselves, and help you see your spiritual blindspots that you cant see that may be God leading you in a different way.