Immature people have friends to make them feel comfortable and important. Their friendships are really for themselves. Are they are often engaged in meaningless friendships based on affinity and self gratification, or are they engaging friends in matters of eternal importance? Are they just hanging out where nothing important is being said or done and there is little spiritual direction in their relationships at church, or are they seeing people for how they might minister to them?
One of the marks of maturity is that you bring benefit to friends and you look for friendships that are spiritually beneficial. Young people need to be stimulated in this direction. This is why Paul said, “Likewise exhort the young men to be sober-minded, in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you” (Titus 2:6-8). Also see: Prov. 18:24; Prov. 27:17; 2 Cor. 15:33.1