Topic: Friendship

Wisdom in choosing friends 0

In case you missed it yesterday… Get wisdom! Again we see that all other good things flow from Wisdom.

“Exalt her, and she will promote you; She will bring you honor, when you embrace her. She will place on your head an ornament of grace; A crown of glory she will deliver to you.” Hear, my son, and receive my sayings, And the years of your life will be many. … When you walk, your steps will not be hindered, And when you run, you will not stumble.” (Proverbs 4:8-10, 12 NKJV)

How can we know we are operating in wisdom? Solomon gives a way to tell in the form of observation of the company you keep.

“Do not enter the path of the wicked, And do not walk in the way of evil. Avoid it, do not travel on it; Turn away from it and pass on. For they do not sleep unless they have done evil; And their sleep is taken away unless they make  someone  fall. For they eat the bread of wickedness, And drink the wine of violence.” (Proverbs 4:14-17 NKJV)

Based on that, here are some questions to ask about your friends and associates.  Are they evil? Do they delight in seeing others fall? Are they restless until they have done evil? Do they enjoy violence?  These questions seem simple to answer for us today, but are they?  Many of us and our friends do not enjoy violence, at least not in the real world, but how about in video games?  What about on television? Doesn’t it feel good to see someone “get what’s coming to them” in a movie.  To see a “justified killing” produces in us a sense of right overcoming wrong, but it’s still violent.

Digital association is a powerful tool, for good and for evil.  What is digital association you ask, it is a connection between things or people via a digital medium or other technology.  Some examples would include CDs or DVDs of a leadership coach, the more you listen or watch them, the more you will think and act like the coach recorded on them.  Conference calls, Skype, chatrooms, all of these given enough time will shape our thoughts and actions to be more like the people producing or participating in them.  Podcasts, television shows, movies, these are all forms of digital association.  Some forms are stronger than others, but all have the power to shape our thoughts and actions given enough time and re-enforcing behavior.

Back to the question at hand, am I living in wisdom?  Take stock of what you are doing with your time and association in the above questions, and you are well on your way to knowing if you are walking with the wise or spending too much time with fools.

Friendship, Something We Could All Use 0

Friendship is something we could all use more of, especially true friendship.

So, what is true friendship?  You know that friend you can pick up the phone and call anytime, day or night.  That person you know will answer the phone and be there to help.  Someone who sticks by you when everyone else abandons you.  How have people put it? That person who walks into your world when the rest of the world walks out on you.  All of those forms of friendship are described by several of Solomon’s sayings in Proverbs 27.  For example, the friend that is there for you even when your family can’t be:

10b Better is a neighbor who is near
than a brother who is far away.

Proverbs 27:10b ESV

So how can you surround yourself with that kind of friendship?  Well the first part of the same verse gives us a little insight into that.  Start by being a good friend:

10 Do not forsake your friend and your father’s friend,
and do not go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity.
Better is a neighbor who is near
than a brother who is far away.

Proverbs 27:10 ESV

Stick with your friends, and your father’s friend.  For some of us that’s pretty tough, especially the second part.  Maybe your father isn’t around, maybe he is, but has made poor choices in friends, or maybe they just simply don’t get along with you at all.  Well, Solomon doesn’t tell us that friendship is easy, just that we should do all we can on our end to not walk away from friends.  And maybe there is another way to look at this, maybe for you, getting started with someone that has been like a spiritual father to you would help you learn how to become a better friend to your actual father’s friends.

Solomon also indicates that friendship isn’t always rosy.  Sometimes friends hurt us, deeply.  But he reminds us that it’s better to have friends that hurt us than to have enemies that appear to bless you:

6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend;
profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
And in the end, isn’t having a friend that is willing to ask you the tough questions and give you the tough answers the kind of friend you want to journey through life with?  That kind of friend makes life so much sweeter:
9 Oil and perfume make the heart glad,
and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.