Watch the friends you Keep
As I grew in my christianity I began to separate myself from certain people and carefully chose my friends. I needed to work out my own salvation. Don't fall into the trap that 'you will change them'. Doubtful, especially if they have been saved for a good while and are involved in ministry.
The reason it's so important to choose good friends is because it's a reflection of you. I knew a very good girl who had very high standards and was a devote christian, but she was best friends with a more "lukewarm" believer. Someone who didn't hold the same standards she did. So when others would see this girl, they saw her as lukewarm too. They looked negatively at her because of whom she hung around.
The bible calls us to be blameless and flee the appearance of evil. That can apply to who you hang around. There is a saying "Show me your friends and I'll tell you who you are". What a sobering thought? That my friends are part of what define who I am. So if I have friends that have low standards, because I tolerate that in my friendship with them, I too have just lowered my standards.
How many of us would ever be friends with a murderer? Or a child molestor? Ha...none.
But we will be friends with liars, rebells, gossips, slanders and morally loose individuals. Friends with people who constantly do the things God hates with no repentance or desire for change.
Now none of us are perfect and we are all being renewed day by day, but let that not be an excuse to unequally yoke yourself in friendships. Love the brethren yes, pray for them yes, but carefully chose the company you keep.
I have probably the best friends in the entire world. When I look at my friends I don't see perfect women but I see women who are contending for the will of God in there own lives and share many of the standards and convictions I do. My friends keep my accountable, encourage me and inspire me to be a better christian. You have to ask that about the friends you keep. Take a look at their reputations. Your friends do have the power to influence you, make sure they are influencing you to do Godly things.
Here is a little check list of things to look for in your friends.
1) They pray and read their bible daily and you have seen fruit of that in their lives (i.e. very good knowledge of bible, talk about how God moves in there lives with passion and sincerity)
2) They don't readily expose the secrets of others. Basically they aren't gossips or initiate conversation about other people on a regular basis. When you are discussing other people there is a mutual consensus that this discussion is for the purpose of praying for that soul or in regards them or you.
3) They have high standards, or standards that mirror your own.
4) People rarely have negative things to say about them. Reputation is very important. The bible says for us to be a peace with all men. Are they doing that or are they always in "drama".
5) The center of your relationship is Christ. Yes, you guys can fool around and have a good time together, but do the edify you are much as you edify them. Do they initiate conversation about Christ and doing a work for God? OR is their christianity shallow?
Those are just a few things I look at when looking for a friend. I have usually prayed for my friendships and God has sent me long lasting precious Godly women.