- Who You Pick To Be Your Friend Matters
Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. (Proverbs 13:20 ESV)
I wish someone would have hammered this in to my life when I was your age. It would have helped me walk away from some stupid friendships. I still would have cared for those people, but they wouldn’t have been on my most influential level of friends. So when they said, “Hey, lets go get drunk,” I would have said, “that is stupid” and maybe I would have had enough guts to say, “you are going to ruin your life.” I cringe now to think about what could have happened and I wish I had known to say something then.
I made a different group of friends later and I still had pressure from my new group of friends, but it wasn’t pressure to do bad things. My new friends said stuff like, “Man I was reading my bible the other day and…” or “Hey let’s go look for a new book at the Christian book store.” And “Let’s go to taco bell and then play mini-golf.”
Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare. (Proverbs 22:24-25 ESV)
You need to look around at your first level of friends. If they are losers, then you’re going to be a loser. If they sass their momma, guess what, you’re going to want to sass your momma. You will be like your friends.
We take on the characteristics of those we hang around. If you hang out with a crew that cusses up a storm… you will be cussing up a storm. You hang out with a guy who gets mad and throws stuff, you’re going to throw stuff. The writer of Proverbs says that friendship with angry people is like a snare. Now I realize that we don’t live in a trapping society so I’m going to help explain that you:
To snare an animal you set out a food source (preferably on a path that the animal takes). Then you lay out a stick or two to hold open the hoop and the animal steps in. Once it is caught if fights and fights against the snare, all the while it’s own effort is what causes it to stay trapped. So the writer is saying, don’t trap yourself with bad friends.
Now the reverse of this is also true, if you hang out with a crew that rakes widow’s yards… you will be raking widows yards.
There once was this lady at one of our old churches named Miss M. Everyone thought she was mean. She talked bad about everyone, including the pastor, the youth pastor (that was me), the music minister, she would have talked about you if she had met you. She was a mean and bitter gossip… The only problem is that I didn’t know she was a mean and bitter gossip and I saw her back yard was full of leaves. Some of our youth were looking for something to do and begging for an activity and so I said, “Ok, grab a rake, gloves, and leaf blower if you’ve got one, we’re going to rake leaves in Miss M’s yard.” So we did.
She came home about half way through and it was like a light switch changed in that woman. We saw her smile. She went in and made lemonade for the students and me. The next week at church instead of running her mouth about the pastor or gossiping about folks she was bragging on our students.
That was a decade ago, I was recently back in town and I saw her in a restaurant and she came across the floor and hugged my neck (still all smiles). Those kids have grown and gone different ways but instead of having memories of where they hurt one another, tore others down with their speech, or did stupid stuff, they have a ton of memories about how they encouraged each other and did great things to help others.
Who You Pick to Be Your Friend Matters.