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It's Day 15, which marks our last day focusing on Community. Today we will be looking at two major parts that truly affect your acceleration of spiritual growth:  friendships and accountability. I say these two components affect the "acceleration" of growth because they have such a personal impact on the development of your character. You might have heard it said, "You are the average of the top three people you spend the most time with." This is saying that you will develop the attitudes, behaviors, and values of the people you interact with the most. This significantly impacts your mindset and actions. As you develop your spiritual journey with others around you, there are two results people around you will have: they will either encourage you towards or away from Christ. Who is influencing your life? It says this in 1 Corinthians:

1 Corinthians 15:33  Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”

This verse reminds us to be selective about whom we spend time with. You should be very defensive and don't allow just anyone to influence your life. The reality is we are all influenced by someone, so again I ask, who is influencing you and do you want to be influenced by them?


Who we choose to become our close and personal friends does matter. We must try our best to be honest as we examine our current friendships and gauge the healthiness of those relationships with honesty. For new believers, letting go of some long-time friends might be some of the toughest decisions we have to make early in our journey. Some healthy questions you should think about are the following:
1) Does this friend or group of friends have a relationship with God?
2) Do I find myself drawing closer toward God when I'm around them?
3) What activities do I find myself involved in when I'm spending time with them?
4) Do they in any way discourage me or redirect the conversation if we start talking about faith?

These are just some honest inward reflection questions to think about concerning your current circle of friends. It's important to note that your friends do matter, and they matter to God. If you find that you have negative influences in your life, I would encourage you to pray for them and encourage them toward Christ and believe in their salvation. I'm not proposing to you to tell them, "I don't like you anymore because I'm following God."  Please be very careful with that. One thing I can assure you is if you start talking about your relationship with God more, you will quickly find out if that draws them closer to you or away. It's also important to be cautious in how we approach our conversations about God. Be graceful in how we bring up conversations about God. We are not trying to condemn them (John 3:17) towards the cross, we are trying to love them towards the cross.

What I'm suggesting is (with love) placing greater distance, relationally speaking, between those unhealthy relationships. Sometimes you need to turn and run away from that friendship completely. Examples of this include gang affiliation, drug abuse, and alcohol abuse to name a few real-life examples. I have seen many cases where this is required. Regardless if we are running quickly away from a certain negative friendship or if we are slowly taking steps back away from that relationship, we must guard the inner circle of our life no matter what. Next, you will see a short list of some examples of friendship types to give greater awareness to this topic.

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

Types Of Friendships:
  1. Acquaintances: People you know of and might interact with occasionally, but don't have a strong personal bond with.
  2. Casual Friends: Individuals you spend time with in certain social contexts, like coworkers or classmates. Your interactions are generally light and centered around specific activities.
  3. Friends: People you engage with on a more regular basis, share common interests with, and might spend time with outside the initial social context.
  4. Close Friends (inner circle): These are friends with whom you share a deeper level of trust, understanding, and emotional connection. You confide in each other and offer support through life's ups and downs.
  5. Best Friends (inner circle): Often considered as "ride or die" friends, best friends have an incredibly close bond. They know each other's secrets, provide unwavering support, and can often feel like family.

As you examine this list, think about what categories your current friendships are in. Ask the Holy Spirit for discernment on the types of friendships you have. Depending on when you are reading this, you might find out that you don't have "close" or "best" friends after you examine current relationships. Let me encourage you, God is faithful, ask Him to help you find that inner circle. Be patient in your pursuit of the inner circle, be selective, and guard personal information with a new friend, allow time and get to know their character as you develop that trusting relationship.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10  Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:10 If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.

Accountability & Mentorship

The idea of accountability and mentorship is sprinkled throughout both the Old and New Testaments. We need brothers and sisters in our lives that help us to grow toward maturity. Authentic accountability and mentorship are displayed if that person is willing to tell you the truth with grace and love, to make you better, not to hurt you. If you still haven't found a good mentor or close friend for accountability, please connect with your pastor or leader of your church. They will love to help you along that journey.

Please be very, very careful with this selection. Examine this person closely before opening up. That is why I encourage you to get connected in a church to find a pastor to help you find a good mentor. If it's a friend, vet them well before the process begins. In this close relationship, you will have to be vulnerable and open about all areas in your life, if you want real freedom. This produces in us healthier results and expedites the freedom from the sin that entangles us.

You should be looking for someone who is further in their journey than you are. This person demonstrates a strong walk with God and their character backs up their talk. They desire to make the time to meet with you and sincerely want God's best in your life. As we wrap up today's conversation, I want to point you to some great verses that talk about accountability and friendship.

Proverbs 27:17  As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
James 5:16  Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

Galatians 6:1-2  Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Ephesians 4:25  Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.


1 Corinthians 15:33

Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”

Today's Questions

Additional Resources

Book - Side by Side: Walking with Others in Wisdom and Love
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