Choose Friends Wisely

iStock_000014942013XSmall_EmotionsPeeved

“Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” Proverbs 13:20

Recently, my family and I were on a trip for my grandson’s first birthday. While we were there, we thought we would visit a church close to his home for a Sunday morning gathering.

The pastor was preaching about friendship that day as he wanted to talk to the youth heading back to school about what kind of friends to pick. He used a few different verses in Proverbs to make his points.

This is a needed conversation, of course. My wife and I taught both of our kids the importance of choosing the right friends to be an influence to and to receive influence from. However, I think we tend to forget these lessons in our adult years.

As a pastor, I tend to counsel many folks who are dealing with relationship issues. They have chosen a spouse, a friend, or a work environment that is combative or overwhelming. They feel that life is being sucked out of them as they carry the weight of trying to make everyone happy.

Often times, I find that the person they are struggling with is a critical person. They enjoy tearing others down, voicing a strong but shallow opinion, and gossiping about others. The Bible calls this person a fool. This is not to say they are stupid or below society. This is to say they act without wisdom.

Sometimes people partner with “fools” because they think it’s fun at first. They are want to be in the “in-crowd” (this is not just a junior high issue). They like hearing the latest, half truth dirt about everyone else and then are surprised when they find out the abuse is targeted against them behind their backs.

Sometimes a person can be sucked into a place of anger, frustration, and division themselves not because of reality but because they are hanging out with someone who is complaining all the time about the boss, the pastor, community leaders or the like.

Sometimes we can lose our own self by being overwhelmed by people who are happy to take your worth, your ideas, your future and crash them into the rocks to match their disjointed view of the world.

You will always have someone in your life that tends to lead to the negative time and time again but the secret is not letting them have control in your life. You have to find people and places that invest back into your life instead of just taking. Your key circle of influence must be like fuel to a car instead of leaving you running on empty.

If you look around you and your closest people are complainers, critical, and robbing you of hope …. it might be time to take the same advice we tell our kids. Choose your friends wisely.

“Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27: 17

Blessings,

Pastor Tom Hypes
tsflife.com

About Tom Hypes

Tom Hypes is an ordained Pastor who has served in churches and the camping ministry for over 25 years. He currently leads at The Shepherd’s Fellowship and volunteers at Leapin’ Outreach (clothing ministry), Marion County Citizen Circle (helping clients with transitions from prison to community), Kirkpatrick Food Pantry, and ministers in the local nursing homes. He has also contributed to Group Magazine, CBA Marketplace, and Youth Worker Magazine. He serves in his ministry in the partnership with his family; wife Jenni, son Ryan, and daughter Emily.