Why Everyone Needs Negative Friends

11 Feb

Bad behavior among Christians defiles the “brand” of Christ. – Rev. Matt Gregory

Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.” (1 Corinthians 5:13b)

Do you have any good “negative” friends? Who are they?
Are you a good “negative” friend?

While lying in bed early on Sunday morning (Feb 10), I listened to Deuteronomy Chapters 14-18 using my iPod. When I got up, I prayed in My Secret Place and then came to my desk to journal. Of the many scriptures I cut and pasted into my journal, the message that jumped out the most at me was “put away the evil.” I then did a Bible search using that phrase and pasted the 12 corresponding scriptures into my journal on a separate page. The last verse in this collection was 1 Cor 5:13.

Lo and behold, when I went to the worship service at Soul Purpose Church later that morning, Pastor Matt Gregory preached a sermon titled “Why Everyone Needs Negative Friends.” His message was about “putting away the evil” from the Body of Christ and the first scriptures mentioned came from 1 Cor 5. Coincidence? No way. The following comes from Matt’s sermon handout:

What is good negative friend?
1) A Christian – someone who will tell you “No”
2) Someone who will confront you when necessary.
3) Someone who won’t ignore an important issue.
4) Someone who values your soul more than our friendship.

Why do you need “negative” friends?
1) Behavior is contagious. Who you hang around is who you become like.
2) They provide spiritual protection.
3) They are the deeper friendships. If you’re not really known, you’re not really loved.
4) When we know someone cares enough to confront we grow more.
5) Bad behavior among Christians defiles the “brand” of Christ.

How do you get a “negative” friend?
1) Hang around those you want to be like. (Prov 13:20)
2) Embrace criticism. Before you react to criticism, stop and think what you can learn. (Prov 15:32, Prov 12:1)
3) Find them at church (Heb 10:24-25)
4) Join a LIFE group to find your “one anothers” (Prov 18:1, 1 Peter 5:8, James 5:16)

How do you become a good negative friend?
1) Listen first and last. (Prov 19:13)
2) Hurt for the person before you confront. (2 Cor 12:21)
3) Care more about what is best for the other person’s long-term welfare than your own feelings. (Prov 28:23, Prov 27:5)
4) Speak the truth in love. Balance the two. (Eph 4:15)
5) Be willing to forgive. (2 Cor 2:6-8)
6) Help in the restoration process. That’s the goal, not destruction. (Gal 6:1)
7) Keep things confidential. Most things need to stay very confidential. (Prov 17:9, Matt 18:15-17)
8) Practice confessing your own sin and working on your own condition. (Prov 28:13)

Prayer Power
Heavenly Father, I praise You as the God who disciplines those You love. Thank You for my wife and the close friends You have placed in my life to hold me accountable. May I always have a teachable spirit willing to listen and measure my behavior against Your holy Word. May my life and family give honor to the name of Jesus Christ. Thank You my LORD and Savior. Amen and Hallelujah!

Link of the Day
Christian Accountability – A Need for Support

Blessings to be a good “negative” friend and to have friends in your life who hold you accountable!

Joseph PeckJoseph

Joseph Peck, M.D.
The Time Doctor
Empowering Dreams
Author, I Was Busy, Now I’m Not

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