“The righteous should choose his friends carefully, For the way of the wicked leads them astray.” NKJV – Proverbs 12:26
One of the primary responsibilities of a righteous person is to choose his or her friends carefully. Choosing those you call a friend is a very delicate matter. It is no news that most people loosely use the word ‘friend’ to mean people they can agreeably relate with. It is common to define those we disagree with or people, whose lifestyle we consider an opposite of our as ‘regular people’, for the fear of using a stronger word called ‘enemy.
Is everyone who disagrees with us an enemy? If someone is not for you, does it always mean that he or she is against you? Does anyone, who is for you, qualify to be called a friend? Do you have enemies in people or the only enemy is the devil himself? These and many other questions remain unanswered to most people because there is no clearly-defined line of delineation between these divides. To be honest, there are so many people out there that are neither friend nor enemy but they have the potential to be either of the two; in fact, a friend today can come across as an enemy the next day and vice versa.
So, how do you choose your friends carefully?
I have come to understand that, by words, all that is seen and unseen were created (John 1:1-3). Also, according to the Bible, as rendered in Luke 6:45 (“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”), it is evident that whatever is said (spoken or written) is a measure fo what the heart is made of.
I know so many people have mastered how to speak acceptably, it is called political correctness (even when they air their real opinion in confidential whispers). Still, no man is able to keep it all together every time. You will understand what kind of heart they have when in their most unguarded moment, they slip in words. Even the Scriptures is clear on word that he that does not offend in words is a perfect man; which means to be perfect, the heart would have to be perfect first and there would be nothing to hide.
In my study of the word of God and living it out, to the best of my understanding, I have come to realize that you really may never know what someone else thinks of you until you have experiences both seasons of life. When things are good, your ‘friends’ would be many; when things are bad, you will suddenly realize that you are only as valuable as what people can get from you.
Seek out those who enjoy your presence, in good and bad times, whose connection is with you, not what you have. That connection is described as love; it is selfless and it gives itself, not just what it has. . .
Finally, choose people going to a similar destination as you. The friendship of a bird and a fish is not an impossibility, come to think of it; the only challenge would be where they would play, work or live together.
“Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.”- 1 Corinthians 15:33
It is impossible to have friends and not be influenced by them. If those you are friends with have unspeakable demeanor and dispositions, you should re-evaluate your relationship with them before they corrupt you.
Finally, God is very concerned about who your friends are. You should seek His face before you loosely describe anyone as your friend. If they are not on the same journey into God as you, their alternative destination may sway you off the way before you know it. Mighty, strong and determined men and women, boys and girls have, in the past, told themselves they are immune to bad influence; it happened that they were so wrong and misguided! Solomon, in all his wisdom and greatness, failed in this area . . . and that was what led to his fall. by the way, it is possible to succeed and still fall away from grace.
Peace to the righteous.
Image Credit: GettyImages