31 Bible Verses About Choosing Friends (with Explanations)

Friendship is one of life’s greatest treasures. In the Bible, friendship is portrayed as a crucial aspect of life, offering both joys and challenges.

The Scriptures provide profound insights and guidelines for choosing friends, emphasizing the importance of these relationships in shaping our character, faith, and life journey. Biblical wisdom on friendship covers various aspects – from seeking wise and godly companions to avoiding those who might lead us astray.

These verses serve as a beacon, guiding us in forming connections that are not only enriching and supportive but also in alignment with Christian values and teachings.

As we explore these verses, we gain a deeper understanding of the qualities to seek in friends and the kind of friend we ought to be.

Also Read: Bible Verses About Servant Leadership (with Explanations)

Bible Verses About Choosing Friends

Proverbs 13:20

“Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”

This proverb emphasizes the importance of surrounding oneself with wise and positive influences. Friends who embody wisdom and good judgment can lead us toward growth and success.

Conversely, associating with those who lack wisdom or engage in foolish behavior can result in negative consequences. It’s a reminder that our companions greatly influence our character and our life’s path. Choosing friends wisely is not just about the company we keep, but also about the kind of person we aspire to become.

1 Corinthians 15:33

“Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.'”

Paul’s warning in this verse highlights the corrupting influence of negative associations. The phrase “bad company ruins good morals” serves as a caution that even the strongest character can be eroded by continuous exposure to negative influences.

This verse suggests the need for vigilance in our friendships, encouraging us to seek out relationships that uplift, support, and encourage moral and ethical living. It’s a reminder that our environment, including the people we choose to surround ourselves with, plays a significant role in shaping our behavior and values.

Proverbs 12:26

“The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.”

This proverb contrasts the behaviors of the righteous and the wicked in terms of friendship. Righteous individuals are discerning in their friendships, understanding the influence these relationships have on their lives and character.

In contrast, the wicked are led astray by their lack of discernment in choosing friends. This verse implies that wise and careful selection of friends is not only a characteristic of the righteous but also a protective measure against being led away from virtuous paths.

Proverbs 22:24-25

“Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared.”

Here, the proverb warns against befriending individuals prone to anger and aggression. The danger is not just in the immediate negativity such a person might bring, but also in the risk of adopting their behaviors and attitudes.

This wisdom underscores the concept of social influence, where our behaviors and attitudes can be shaped, sometimes unconsciously, by those we spend time with. It’s a caution to be mindful of the character of our friends, as their traits can potentially become our own.

Proverbs 27:17

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”

This metaphorical proverb speaks to the mutual benefit of having strong, supportive friendships. Just as iron sharpens iron, a good friend challenges, encourages, and helps us grow.

This verse suggests that friendships should not be passive, but active in improving each other’s character and understanding. It emphasizes the value of having friends who can offer constructive feedback, engage in meaningful conversations, and push us toward becoming better versions of ourselves.

Psalm 1:1

“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers.”

This verse from Psalms highlights the importance of distancing oneself from negative influences. It implies that true blessing and happiness come from avoiding the path of the wicked.

The progression from walking to standing to sitting suggests an increasing level of engagement and comfort with negative influences, warning against the gradual acceptance of unrighteous behavior. This verse encourages the reader to be conscious of the company they keep and the influences they allow into their lives.

2 Corinthians 6:14

“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?”

In this verse, Paul uses the metaphor of a yoke to describe the incompatibility of forming close bonds with those who fundamentally differ in moral or spiritual beliefs. The imagery of light and darkness emphasizes the stark contrast between righteousness and wickedness.

This verse does not advocate for the complete avoidance of non-believers but rather warns against forming partnerships or bonds that might lead one away from their faith and values. It encourages believers to seek companions who share similar values and beliefs, ensuring mutual support and growth in their spiritual journey.

Proverbs 17:17

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.”

This proverb speaks to the enduring nature of true friendship and the intrinsic value of a brother during difficult times. It implies that a genuine friend’s love is constant and not conditional on circumstances.

In adversity, such friendships reveal their true strength, akin to the steadfastness of a sibling’s bond. This verse suggests that the measure of a friend is not found in the easy, joyful times, but in their presence and support during life’s challenges. It encourages us to be that kind of friend to others, offering unwavering support and love at all times.

James 4:4

“You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.”

This verse from James confronts the spiritual conflict between embracing worldly values and maintaining devotion to God. It warns that seeking approval and forming attachments with worldly or materialistic pursuits can lead to a detachment from spiritual values. The term ‘adulterous’ metaphorically describes the betrayal of one’s commitment to God.

This verse encourages believers to reflect on their priorities and relationships, urging them to seek friendships and lifestyles that align with their spiritual beliefs, rather than being swayed by the fleeting allure of worldly pleasures.

Proverbs 27:6

“Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.”

This proverb conveys the idea that honest, sometimes painful, feedback from a friend is more valuable than flattery from those who do not have our best interests at heart. A true friend is someone who cares enough to confront us with hard truths for our betterment, whereas an enemy might disguise their ill intentions with insincere praise or flattery.

This verse teaches the importance of valuing and understanding the intentions behind others’ actions and words, emphasizing that true friendship sometimes involves difficult, but ultimately constructive, honesty.

Proverbs 18:24

“One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

This verse highlights the contrast between superficial, unreliable friendships and the profound bond of a truly loyal friend. The first part warns of the dangers and disappointments that come from placing trust in unreliable people.

In contrast, the latter part extols the virtues of a friend whose loyalty and commitment are so deep that they surpass even familial bonds. This proverb encourages us to seek and cherish friendships that are founded on reliability and deep loyalty, reminding us of the rare and invaluable nature of such relationships in our lives.

Proverbs 16:28

“A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.”

This proverb warns about the destructive power of negative behaviors like perversion and gossip. It illustrates how such behaviors not only stir up conflict but can also erode the trust and bond between close friends.

The verse serves as a caution against engaging in or tolerating these harmful behaviors within our social circles. It underscores the importance of integrity and the responsible use of our words, reminding us that what we say and how we act can have a significant impact on our relationships.

Proverbs 11:13

“A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.”

This verse draws a clear distinction between the characteristics of a gossip and those of a trustworthy individual. It highlights the damaging nature of gossip, especially in terms of betraying confidences, which can ruin reputations and relationships.

In contrast, a trustworthy person is portrayed as someone who respects and protects private information, thereby maintaining trust and integrity in their relationships. This proverb serves as a guide for how to be a good friend and confidant, emphasizing the value of trustworthiness and discretion in maintaining healthy, respectful friendships.

Galatians 6:2

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

This verse from Galatians encapsulates the essence of Christian community and friendship. It instructs believers to support one another empathetically, sharing in each other’s struggles and difficulties. By doing so, they are not only strengthening their bonds of friendship but also living out the teachings of Christ, which emphasize love, compassion, and service to others.

This verse serves as a powerful reminder that at the heart of meaningful friendships is the willingness to help and uplift each other, especially during challenging times, thereby embodying the spirit of Christ’s love.

Proverbs 27:9

“Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.”

This proverb draws a beautiful analogy between the joy brought by fragrances and the delight derived from a friend’s sincere counsel. It suggests that just as perfume and incense can uplift the spirits, so too can the wise and heartfelt advice of a friend bring comfort and happiness.

The verse underscores the value of friendships rooted in honesty and genuine concern, where advice is given not out of obligation but from a place of true understanding and empathy. It celebrates the unique joy and enrichment that such friendships bring to our lives.

John 15:13

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

This profound statement by Jesus highlights the ultimate expression of love and sacrifice – giving one’s life for friends. It sets a high standard for love and friendship, showing that the deepest form of love is selfless and sacrificial.

This verse is a powerful reminder of the depth and strength of true friendship, where individuals are willing to make significant sacrifices for the well-being of their friends. It challenges us to consider the depth of our own friendships and our willingness to put others’ needs before our own.

Proverbs 19:20

“Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.”

This verse emphasizes the importance of being receptive to guidance and correction, seeing them as pathways to wisdom. It suggests that the willingness to listen to others’ advice and accept discipline is crucial for personal growth and development.


The verse encourages an attitude of humility and teachability, especially in the context of friendships where honest feedback can be a valuable tool for self-improvement. It reminds us that wisdom is not just inherent but is often acquired through the experiences and insights shared by others.

Proverbs 17:9

“Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.”

This verse speaks to the power of forgiveness in maintaining and strengthening relationships. It suggests that choosing to forgive and overlook an offense can foster love and preserve friendships.

Conversely, dwelling on the offense and repeatedly bringing it up can drive a wedge between close friends. The verse advocates for the grace of letting go of grievances in favor of nurturing love and harmony in relationships. It reminds us that part of being a good friend involves the willingness to forgive and move beyond conflicts.

Romans 12:10

“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”

In this verse, Paul calls for a selfless and respectful approach to relationships within the Christian community. The emphasis on devotion and honoring others above oneself encapsulates the essence of Christian fellowship and friendship.

This attitude fosters a community where individuals are valued and cared for, creating a nurturing and supportive environment. It challenges us to evaluate our own attitudes in our relationships, inspiring us to cultivate a spirit of selflessness and genuine respect for others.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: 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.”

This passage from Ecclesiastes highlights the value of companionship and mutual support. It illustrates that in life’s endeavors, having a partner or friend provides not only practical assistance but also emotional and moral support.

It acknowledges the inevitable challenges and setbacks in life, emphasizing how the presence of a friend can provide the necessary help and encouragement to overcome these obstacles. This verse serves as a reminder of the strength found in unity and the importance of nurturing relationships that are supportive and uplifting.

Proverbs 15:22

“Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”

This verse highlights the importance of seeking diverse perspectives and wisdom in decision-making. It suggests that isolation in planning can lead to failure, whereas involving others and considering their advice can greatly enhance the likelihood of success.

This principle applies not only in practical endeavors but also in the context of friendships, where the collective wisdom and experience of friends can be invaluable. It encourages openness to others’ insights and the recognition that collaborative thinking often leads to better outcomes.

Proverbs 24:26

“An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.”

This proverb celebrates the value of honesty in communication, likening it to the sweetness and intimacy of a kiss. It suggests that just as a kiss symbolizes affection and trust, an honest answer conveys respect and care for the other person.

In the context of friendship, this verse emphasizes the importance of being truthful and sincere in our interactions. It encourages us to embrace honesty, not just as a moral duty, but as an expression of our affection and regard for our friends. This verse reminds us that truthfulness strengthens the bonds of friendship and builds a foundation of trust.

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.”

In this verse, Paul urges believers to embrace honesty in their interactions, grounding this instruction in the concept that all are part of one body – the body of Christ. This metaphor signifies the interconnectedness and mutual dependence of community members.

Speaking truthfully is not just an individual act of integrity, but a way to uphold the health and unity of the community. In friendships, this principle calls for transparency and sincerity, fostering trust and mutual respect, which are essential for strong and healthy relationships.

Colossians 3:13

“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

This verse emphasizes the virtues of patience and forgiveness in relationships. It acknowledges that grievances and conflicts are inevitable in human interactions but insists on forgiveness as the path to reconciliation and harmony.

The call to forgive as the Lord forgave is a powerful reminder of the depth of forgiveness Christians are called to offer. In friendships, this teaching encourages us to be understanding, patient, and ready to forgive, thus maintaining the bond of peace and unity.

Proverbs 16:29

“A violent person entices their neighbor and leads them down a path that is not good.”

This proverb warns against the influence of those who promote violence or destructive behavior. It suggests that such individuals can be persuasive, enticing others to follow them into harmful actions or attitudes.

In the context of choosing friends, this verse serves as a caution to be aware of the character and influence of those we associate with. It emphasizes the importance of choosing friends who lead us towards positive and constructive paths, rather than those who might encourage harmful behaviors.

Proverbs 13:20

“Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.”

This verse offers straightforward wisdom on the impact of our associations. It highlights the benefit of surrounding oneself with wise individuals, as their influence leads to personal growth and wisdom. Conversely, the verse warns that associating with fools can lead to negative consequences.

This insight is crucial when choosing friends, emphasizing the importance of seeking out relationships that are enriching and positive, and avoiding those that could lead to personal detriment.

1 Peter 4:8

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

This verse from Peter encapsulates the central Christian virtue of love. It urges believers to love deeply, which is essential for enduring and meaningful relationships.

The phrase “love covers over a multitude of sins” suggests that love is forgiving and understanding, able to overlook flaws and transgressions. In friendships, this verse calls for a love that is patient, forgiving, and unconditional, reminding us of the power of love to sustain and heal relationships.

Proverbs 22:11

“One who loves a pure heart and who speaks with grace will have the king for a friend.”

This proverb highlights the virtues of purity of heart and gracious speech, suggesting that such qualities are not only admirable but also attract the friendship of even the most influential people, like a king. It implies that integrity and kindness are powerful in building relationships of high quality and respect.

In the context of friendships, this verse encourages us to cultivate purity in our intentions and graciousness in our communication, as these traits are key to forming and maintaining strong, honorable, and influential relationships.

Matthew 5:9

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”

This verse from the Beatitudes emphasizes the value and blessing of being a peacemaker. In the context of friendships, it advocates for the role of mediators who strive to resolve conflicts and promote harmony.

Being a peacemaker involves empathy, understanding, and the ability to navigate difficult conversations with grace. This verse not only highlights the intrinsic value of peace but also associates peacemakers with a profound spiritual identity as children of God. It encourages an active pursuit of peace in our relationships, recognizing it as a reflection of divine character.

Proverbs 25:17

“Seldom set foot in your neighbor’s house—too much of you, and they will hate you.”

This proverb provides practical wisdom about respecting boundaries in relationships. It suggests that over-familiarity or imposing oneself too often on others can strain friendships. The principle here is moderation and consideration of others’ space and privacy.

It encourages a balance in social interactions, where the value of friendship is maintained by respecting each other’s need for personal space. This verse teaches us to be mindful and considerate of how our presence and involvement might impact our relationships, advocating for a respectful and thoughtful approach to friendship.

Luke 6:31

“Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

Known as the Golden Rule, this verse captures a fundamental ethical principle that is central to many religious and moral teachings. In terms of friendship, it advises treating others with the same kindness, respect, and understanding that one would wish to receive.

This reciprocal approach to human interactions fosters empathy, fairness, and mutual respect. It’s a guideline that simplifies complex moral decisions by asking us to consider our actions from another’s perspective, thus promoting healthier and more compassionate relationships.

Also Read: Bible Verses About Being Positive (with Explanations)

What Does The Bible Say About Choosing Friends

The Bible offers several insights and principles about choosing friends, emphasizing the importance of selecting companions who are positive, wise, and morally upright. Key themes include:

  1. Seek Wise and Righteous Companions: The Bible frequently advises choosing friends who are wise, righteous, and God-fearing. Proverbs 13:20.
  2. Avoid Bad Influence: Scriptures warn against associating with those who might lead us astray. 1 Corinthians 15:33 cautions, “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.'” This highlights the potential negative impact of associating with those who engage in immoral or harmful behavior.
  3. Mutual Edification and Support: The Bible emphasizes friendships that are mutually supportive and edifying. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 highlights the benefits of having a companion for support: “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls, one can help the other up.”
  4. Spiritual Harmony: The Bible also speaks about the importance of being in spiritual harmony with friends. 2 Corinthians 6:14 advises. This verse encourages believers to form close bonds with those who share their faith and values.
  5. Love and Forgiveness: Christian friendships are characterized by love, forgiveness, and patience, as outlined in verses like Colossians 3:13:

Prayer About Choosing Friends

“Heavenly Father,

I come before You today seeking wisdom and discernment in my relationships. I recognize the importance of choosing friends who will positively influence my life and support my journey in faith and personal growth.

Lord, guide me to people who embody Your love and grace. Help me to find friends who are kind, honest, and who encourage me to be the best version of myself. May I be drawn to those who will walk with me in times of joy and in times of struggle, offering wise counsel and a listening ear.

Grant me the strength to set boundaries with those who may lead me away from the path You have set for me. Help me to recognize qualities in others that are nurturing and life-giving, and to have the courage to step away from relationships that are harmful or distracting from my purpose.

Bless my friendships, old and new, so that they may be sources of mutual respect, joy, and growth. May each friendship honor You and reflect the love and compassion of Jesus Christ.

In Your wisdom, Lord, guide my choices and fill my heart with love and understanding towards others.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.