We can only go so far in life by ourselves. Show me your friends and I’ll tell you how far you’re going to go. People we hang around with have the power to bring life or death into our lives.
C. S. Lewis said, “The next best thing to being wise oneself is to live in a circle of those who are.” When we select our friends wisely, we’ll see a speedy growth in ourselves, our family, business and career. When we keep to ourselves or keep bad company it will hinder our growth and progress. People we spend time with have a great influence in our lives. It’s ok to help others who are negative, struggling, and making wrong choices but if they become our only friends then we’re going to stifle our own growth.
In the Bible, there are many examples of people who rose to the top due to the company they kept. We don’t have to have a “better than you” attitude but we must chose friends who will challenge us to go up higher.
Being a minister, I have to relate to different types of people. I take pride in making friends with those who are not “all together.” I love people who are falling short of the mark. Jesus was a friend of the sinners and I want to be like Him. I’m friend to all but I chose my inner circle very carefully. I know from past mistakes that having the wrong friend or no friend will steer me in the wrong direction. Jesus was available to all but He gave Himself to the twelve disciples and even a smaller group of people were His inner circle.
One of the advantages of having wise people for our friend is they open new doors for us. When we establish a mutual relationship, we can refer our friends to each other. This is why it is vitally important to build long-term relationships. If we’re calling on people only when we need something from them then our relationship is shallow and you can’t expect too much from it. But when we seriously invest our time, efforts and energy to enrich the life of the other person, we too will be blessed by God and our associates.
The Bible gives clear instructions on not to make close friends with angry, negative and lazy people. Friendship with a gossiper may be tempting but one day they’ll gossip about you. The Bible says, “Evil company corrupts good manners.” Choose your friends wisely.
When I look for a close friend, I pay attention to how they talk, how they spend their time and their love for the things of God. If their talk is constantly negative I wait for them. If they’re sour and critical, I avoid them from getting too close. I stay away from those who are lazy and time-wasters. I minister to all types of people but I don’t bring them home with me.
Another thing I’ve learnt in life is to have varieties of friends. I have friends who give me sound financial advice. I have others who teach me about relationships. Yet there are others who bring spiritual input into my life and my least favorites are those who are reminding me to exercise! ;) Seriously, if you want a balanced life, you have to have variation of friendships. When we have input into our lives by wise people, we’ll increase by association.
One of the best friends and associates we all can have is to have God on our side. When God is on our side and we’re on His, we can do anything. Don’t put God in the back seat and expect to have a smooth ride. You’ve heard people say, “Let God be your co-pilot.” I’m challenging us put God on the driver’s seat so that He can lead us to our destiny in victory. I guarantee you’ll increase by association when you have God on your side. Let’s choose your friends wisely.
“Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble” (Proverbs 13:20 NLT).
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