Choose Wisely


Good friends will have a positive influence on you.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.

10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.

11 Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?

12 And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

I can’t even count the times over the years that I have sought to be a better person thanks to the example of trusted friends.  Last week I wrote about being a servant with the heart of Jesus, and I’ve been so fortunate to know many friends who have shown me what servanthood really means.  In many ways we tend to lean on each other, learn from each other, and make better choices because of each other’s examples.

 

In turn, bad friends will have a negative influence on you.

 

1 Corinthians 15:33

33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.

 

Many people make the mistake of associating with the wrong crowd, and it is one of the warnings parents try and give their children all through their developing years and even into adulthood.

One of the pieces of advice that my father gave me during my adolescent years, was “Be careful who you associate with!” There’s a Spanish proverb that he would use to teach this lesson, “Tell me with whom you walk, and I will tell you who you are.”

I can’t help but think how Jesus, who could have chosen to complete His earthly ministry all by himself, instead chose to surround himself with a group of friends.  For three years, they lived together, ate together, celebrated together, and mourned together.  I also really like the fact that when you look at these twelve men Jesus hand-picked to follow Him, they were just real guys.  Jesus could have chosen men of influence, who came with tons of money and education.  Instead he chose fishermen and a tax collector!  Again, Jesus–even in a subtle way–gives us the perfect example of how important it is to choose friendships wisely.

 

Of course the ultimate example of friendship is that Jesus chose to sacrifice Himself for us.

 

John 15:12-14

12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

 

The principle of friendship is also found in Amos.

 

Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

 

 

Friends are of like mind. The truth that comes from all of this is a friendship is a relationship that is entered into by individuals, and it is only as good or as close as those individuals choose to make it. Someone has said that if you can count your true friends on the fingers of one hand, you are blessed. A friend is one whom you can be yourself with and never fear that he or she will judge you. A friend is someone that you can confide in with complete trust. A friend is someone you respect and that respects you, not based upon worthiness but based upon a likeness of mind.

Finally, the real definition of a true friend comes from the Apostle Paul:

 

Romans 5:7-8

For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.





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