“Dear Friend”…that’s how an email started off last weekend, addressed to 10 men that I have the privilege of calling friend. I faced a challenge at work, and sought their support to lift me up in prayer. So why did I chose these particular men to send my prayer request to? Because they are solid friends that I view as mature and wise. Inevitably, each time I talk with them about problems that are overwhelming me, they come back with confirmation that at one time or another they had experienced the same thing, and have real world examples to motivate me.
Good friends are hard to come by. A good friend that is wise…even harder. No matter how difficult, you’ve got to seek out those folks that are mature and wise that you enjoy spending time with and latch on to them. If they call you friend, you are truly lucky and blessed.
Check out Proverbs 13:20. There are huge benefits from walking alongside wise friends here on Earth. The alternative is to hang out with foolish people, and become a fool yourself…not a viable option if you’re smart. (Bottom line, you become who you hang around with…my Dad was right! By the way, this also works for what you read, hear, watch, experience, etc…be careful what you let influence you.)
It just so happens that I sent my email (mentioned above) to friends that are Christians. However, I’ve got other great friends that I know are not Christians. I still call them wise, I still think of them as mature. The fact that they are not a Christian is something I have to be aware of, and ensure that I influence them in this area, and not vice-versa.
Have you thought about the people that you call friend? Would you classify them as a ‘good’ friend that is wise and mature? Are they a faithful friend that stands by you? Here’s how I measure my friends:
– If I called them at 2 am and said “I need you here later tomorrow, I’m in trouble…”. The friend would be on the first plane out.
– They listen. They really listen. They want to support you!
– They are interested in your success. They want to see me succeed. True friends want to see you fulfill your goals and experience life to the fullest.
– What standards do they live by? While we are all imperfect, you’ve got to pick friends that are striving to live a positive life! If they are not Christians, are you working to influence them?
– They hold me accountable, and don’t hold punches when it comes to telling me what they truly feel.
Good friends. I find them indispensible. What do you think? Got any friends that are foolish that might be influencing you negatively and preventing you from reaching your full potential as a Christian? Take a moment to consider this thought. Thanks for reading.