Want to Know Your Future?
When I was young, my Mother used to say, “Show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future.” As a teenager, that irritated me. I thought she didn’t like my friends, or wanted to pick my friends for me, or just wanted me to be a goody-two-shoes. Being a good-girl was not what I considered cool. I wanted to be like the kids in the movies who smoked, drank too much, had fun, and got the guy or girl of their dreams.
Life isn’t like that. Life has consequences.
Before I was 21, one of my friends nearly died from alcohol poisoning. Another drowned because he drank so much he forgot he couldn’t swim, and jumped from a boat into the lake. Those are the harshest of consequences, but what about the little ones? The thousand cuts that torment the soul?
You may start to doubt yourself and others who are good counselors to you. I found myself turning away from friends who lifted me up in favor of those who tore me down because I thought they were ‘cooler’. I also got tired of making excuses for the ‘cool friends’ to my ‘good counselors’. Decisions like these will take you on a course far from your true purpose, and it’s a costly diversion.
Proverbs 13:20 Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
I’ve had ‘friends’ who were into things I thought I would never consider. However, if you hang around them long enough, you are dancing with the devil. My Grandmother used to say, “Dance with the Devil and you’re gonna get the horns.” This happens in all kinds of ways you can never truly foresee.
I’ll give you a for instance: You have a friend who is into drugs. You don’t do drugs, so how does that affect you? You have to watch them destroy themselves a little at a time, and eventually they’ll be coming for you. You will find yourself giving them money you don’t have to give, energy that would be better spent elsewhere, and telling lies for them as a ‘favor’. This behaviour can eventually seem ‘normal’. Drug addicts don’t have friends or family: they have hostages and resources. A resource is what you become, and you may not even realize it because the seduction is so gradual. Then, one day, you wake up and your ‘friend’ has stolen from you, has led you into trouble, or seduced you into doing what you swore you wouldn’t: become a user yourself. In the big picture, this so-called friend has taken your eye off God and his purpose for you.
1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”
Friends are there to brace you up, not tear you down. Friends are there with you in your moments of victory and in those weak moments when you need support. A self-destructive friend cannot support you, and all too often a weak friend in your moment of vulnerability will whisper words of destruction in your ear, and you won’t be able to turn away so easily.
Proverbs 12:26 One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
How should you pick your friends, and ultimately your future? Follow God’s guide and ask these questions:
- Is this person a calm, well-rounded person that I can rely on? Proverbs 22:24-25 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.
- Does this person give me wisdom based on God’s word and a strong sense of right and wrong? Proverbs 11:14 Where there is no guidance, a people fall, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.
- Is this someone, in my worst moment, that I could tell my darkest secret to and get the truth even if it hurts me? Will that friend help me shine a light into the dark corners of my soul? Proverbs 19:20 Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.
Here’s to making good friends today, and if you already have good friends, call them up and thank them for being your source of strength, wisdom, and a link to a brighter future.
Who’s your BFF and why?