Monday, August 28, 2006

Pick Your Friends Wisely

By Dr. James MacDonald

The righteous should choose his friends carefully. Proverbs 12:26

The old saying is right, “you’re known by the company you keep.” The corollary to this truth is-so pick your friends wisely.

Proverbs 12:26 clearly warns, “The righteous should choose his friends carefully.” Not everyone is good friendship material so we’ve got to be mindful of this counsel. Like another old saying Paul quotes in 1 Corinthians 15:33, “Bad company corrupts good morals.” No matter your age, your friends will affect your life for good or for bad.

I remember my first day of high school. I walked into that big building feeling lost in the crowd. I knew I needed to make friends fast but was overwhelmed by the many options.

I saw students from the music department; they were talented, but kind of isolated unto themselves. There were the brainiacs. I knew right away I would never fit into that group. I saw the jocks walking down the hallway, acting like they had it all together. Maybe they’d be good friends; maybe they wouldn’t. There were the geeks who seemed pretty uncool to my young eyes. (This was long before Bill Gates made his billions and changed the perception.) Then there were the druggies, who hung out behind the cafeteria, pretending they were having fun but actually striking out against some internal pain.

Here’s the point: after all the years since then, when I think meet people from high school, the similarities are amazing. They have almost all tracked in the direction of the group they chose to associate with in high school. They became like the people they hung around with.

So do we all.

It follows then that you need to choose your friends wisely. Whether you’re a high school freshman or an empty-nester in your fifties-choose who you would like to become. Don’t just let work associations or next-door neighbor proximity dictate who you spend the bulk of your time with. Don’t let a chance meeting, or family ties, or even the church you go to determine that for you. Make deliberate choices about who you want to invest in and who rubs off on you. Decide the kind of people you need to associate with, the ones who will be your real, heartfelt, lots-of-time-together friends. Then choose them and love them.


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