We all know the importance of family in our lives and the tremendous impact that family has upon us, both good and bad. But there is another extremely important group of folks that we get to choose, unlike who we are related to. It is our friends.
Our pastor has said many times ‘show me your friends and I’ll show you your future’. And every time he says that I say AMEN! It’s the truth, our friends can change the course of our lives.
The Bible has a LOT to say about friends. Parents have SO much to say about friends. Teens are determined to defend their friends. Even to a pre-school child, friends matter. Relationships can be ruined by the wrong friends. You can have opportunities that you wouldn’t have otherwise with the right friends.
What is a friend anyway? That word like many others has been diluted to the point of little value. Like the word love for instance. We say we love tacos and we love a song and we love all kinds of stuff and people. We have school-friends, FB friends, work-friends, internet-friends, church-friends and some of these friends we hardly even know.
A true friend is someone you can share your dreams with and know they won’t laugh at you. A real friend is someone you can confess your failings to and know they won’t shun you. A genuine friend is someone who will hold you accountable while holding you up. A friend worth having is one whom you will call when you’re in trouble and need help.
A friend can be a great treasure. They might loan you a twenty, watch your kids or listen to your troubles. They may help you with your project, tell you when you’re wrong and love you anyway. They can encourage your heart and challenge your soul. Friends matter.
A friend can also bring you low and urge you to do things you know are wrong. They can flame the fire of your dissatisfaction and justify your bad choices. They might insist that you join them in the pigpen and wallow in the mud with them so you are as stinky as they are to prove you are their friend.
Consider who you have surrounded yourself with today. Who do you exchange ideas with and have discussions with? Who are you allowing to influence and impact your future, your family and your choices?
Perhaps we should all consider our friends carefully and the consequences that may result. Friends matter.