The Bible serves as a guide for healthy relationships, offering practical wisdom on the friends we choose. These bible verses verses about bad friends shed light on the qualities of not-so-great friends, gently reminding us that our companions can greatly influence our lives. They encourage us to be mindful of friends who might be quick-tempered, lacking wisdom, or not aligned with the path of goodness.
Essentially, it’s a call to be selective about our friends!
Additionally, these verses highlight how our friends can shape our character and impact our relationship with God. So, as we explore these wise words, let’s keep in mind the importance of choosing friends wisely.
For those curious about the qualities of a good friend, the article “25 Characteristics of a Good Friend According to The Bible” provides a deeper understanding of cultivating meaningful friendships in alignment with biblical teachings.
“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” (Matthew 7:6)
17 Bible Verses About Bad Friends
- Corinthians 15:33 (NIV): “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.'”
- Proverbs 13:20 (NIV): “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.”
- Proverbs 22:24-25 (NIV): “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.”
- 2 Corinthians 6:14 (NIV): “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?”
- Proverbs 14:7 (NIV): “Stay away from a fool, for you will not find knowledge on their lips.”
Stay away from a fool, for you will not find knowledge on their lips.
- Psalm 1:1-2 (NIV): “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, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.”
- James 4:4 (NIV): “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.”
- Proverbs 18:24 (NIV): “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
- Matthew 10:15-17 (NIV): “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”
I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.
Related Quiz: Are you in a TOXIC friendship?
- Proverbs 12:26 (NIV): “The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.”
- 1 Corinthians 5:11 (NIV): “But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.”
- Proverbs 24:21-22 (NIV): “Fear the Lord and the king, my son, and do not join with rebellious officials, for those two will send sudden destruction on them, and who knows what calamities they can bring?”
- “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” (Matthew 7:6)
The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
- 2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NIV): “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.”
- Proverbs 19:4 (NIV): “Wealth attracts many friends, but even the closest friend of the poor person deserts them.”
- 1 Corinthians 15:33-34 (NIV): “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’ Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame.”
- Psalm 26:4-5 (NIV): “I do not sit with the deceitful, nor do I associate with hypocrites. I abhor the assembly of evildoers and refuse to sit with the wicked.”
- Corinthians 5:11 (NIV): “But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.”
Related Article: Find Your Tribe
10 Examples of Bad Friends In the Bible
1. Job’s Friends (Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar):
Friendship Lesson: A real friend supports you through tough times. Job, known for being humble, faced hard moments and disasters, but that didn’t mean he did anything to deserve them. His friends, first quiet, later gave harsh advice without understanding his situation or respecting his effort to live a good life. Their wrong accusations showed they didn’t truly support or understand him. (Scriptural Reference: Job 2:11-13, Job 16:2-5, Job 42:7-9)
- Lack of Empathy: Job’s friends, while initially sitting in silence with him during his suffering, later offered harsh and judgmental counsel, lacking empathy for his situation.
- False Accusations: They wrongly assumed that Job’s suffering was a result of his own sin, leading to false accusations and a lack of genuine support.
2. Peninnah and Hannah:
- No Empathy: Peninnah, Elkanah’s other wife, lacked empathy for Hannah’s deep desire for children. Instead of offering support, she provoked Hannah, causing emotional distress.
- No Supportiveness: Peninnah did not demonstrate support for Hannah during her difficult time, but rather capitalized on her vulnerability to create strife.
- Jealousy and Competition: Peninnah’s actions reflected jealousy and a sense of competition, as she aimed to diminish Hannah’s worth by highlighting her own ability to bear children.
- Lack of Respect: The relationship between Peninnah and Hannah lacked mutual respect, with Peninnah intentionally aggravating Hannah’s pain.
- Gossiping: Peninnah’s behavior can be seen as a form of gossip, as she used words and actions to undermine Hannah’s standing and spread discord in the family.
3. Cain and Abel:
Scriptural Reference: Genesis 4:8
- Jealousy: Cain’s jealousy led to violence, a stark contrast to a trustworthy and respectful friendship.
- Friendship Lesson: Jealousy can harm relationships. Cain’s jealousy led to violence, showcasing the destructive consequences of such emotions in a trustworthy and respectful friendship.
Related Quiz: Are you in a TOXIC friendship?
4. Naomi and Orpah:
Scriptural Reference: Ruth 1:14
- Supportive: Orpah chose to return to her people, revealing a lack of enduring loyalty in difficult times.
- Friendship Lesson: Loyalty is crucial in friendship. Orpah’s choice to return to her people revealed a lack of enduring loyalty in difficult times, emphasizing the importance of steadfastness in sustaining meaningful friendships.
5. Judas and Jesus:
Scriptural Reference: Matthew 26:14-16, 47-50
- Dependability and Loyalty: Judas betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver, displaying the opposite of loyalty and trustworthiness.
- Friendship Lesson: Dependability and loyalty are key qualities in a friend. Judas betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver, displaying the opposite of loyalty and trustworthiness.
6. The Disciples:
Scriptural References: Mark 9:33-37, Matthew 20:20-28
Struggles with Pride and Ambition: The disciples often struggled with pride and a desire for status. In passages like Mark 9:33-37 and Matthew 20:20-28, they were caught in arguments about who among them would be the greatest. These qualities hindered their ability to support each other and work as a cohesive group. Jesus, however, emphasized the importance of humility and selfless service, teaching them that true greatness comes from serving others in love.
7. Adam and Eve:
Scriptural Reference: Genesis 3:1-13
Disobedience and Blame-shifting: Eve encouraged Adam to do something that God specifically said not to. When God realized both Adam and Eve had eaten the forbidden fruit, Adam then blamed it on Eve. This is an example of disobedience and a failure to take responsibility for one’s actions. These qualities are detrimental in a friendship as they lead to a lack of trust and accountability. A good friend should encourage positive behavior and take responsibility for their choices.
8. Peter and Jesus:
Friendship Lesson: Even close friends can let you down. Peter, one of Jesus’ closest disciples, denied knowing Him three times during a critical moment. This emphasizes the reality that friendships, even strong ones, can face challenges and betrayals. (Scriptural Reference: Matthew 26:69-75)
Related Quiz: Are you in a BAD friendship?
9. Paul and Barnabas:
Friendship Lesson: Even friends in faith can experience conflicts. Paul and Barnabas, both devoted to spreading the Gospel, had a sharp disagreement over John Mark’s involvement in their mission. This incident demonstrates that even well-intentioned friends can have disagreements, emphasizing the importance of handling conflicts with wisdom and grace. (Scriptural Reference: Acts 15:36-41)
10. Ananias and Sapphira:
Friendship Lesson: Honest communication is vital in any relationship. Ananias and Sapphira, a married couple in the early Christian community, conspired to deceive their fellow believers by pretending to give the full proceeds of a property sale while withholding part of it for themselves. This deceitful act not only demonstrated a lack of integrity but also revealed the destructive consequences of dishonesty within a community. (Scriptural Reference: Acts 5:1-11)
Deception and Consequences: Ananias and Sapphira’s attempt to deceive the community resulted in severe consequences. Both of them faced divine judgment for lying to the Holy Spirit, highlighting the importance of honesty and transparency in maintaining trust and harmony within a community.
This cautionary tale serves as a reminder that openness and truthfulness are foundational to any healthy relationship, emphasizing the need for genuine communication and integrity in our interactions with others.