“Open not thine heart to every man, but deal with one who is wise and feareth God.
Let thy company be the humble and the simple, the devout and the gentle, and let thy discourse be concerning things which edify.
We must love all men, but not make close companions of all.”
(The Imitation of Christ by Thomas A. Kempis, The First Book, page 10)
Every where we turn nowadays, we find ourselves being pushed to make a platform, have more friends, and followers as if more is equivalent to true friendship and connection. We are able to share more information, with more people, in shorter time, with little effort and with just the peck of a few keys.
It all has me wondering if there is wisdom to be found in so doing.
In my younger days, a wise pastor once advised me to share my heart with no more than five people. Friends and acquaintances can be plentiful but those I permit into my heart should be few. I think Tom would agree with that pastor as well as Scripture:
“Walk with the wise and become wise, associate with fools and get in trouble.”
(Proverbs 13:20, NLT)
We tell our kids to choose their friends carefully because as parents, we know that our friends can easily influence our thoughts and sway our actions. We become like who we hang with and will either become wiser or more foolish. Scripture would agree:
“Don’t befriend angry people or associate with hot-tempered people, or you will learn to be like them and endanger your soul.” (Proverbs 22:24-25, NLT)
If I don’t think this is true, all I need to picture a drive on the road. On any given highway, anger and rudeness can be found displayed as drivers want to go faster, get around and ahead, or shout at one another. Often on a rambling road, the ride is slow paced and enjoyable as patience is to be found around each bend. There was a time my driving could be influenced by those driving around me. Thankfully, we can change.
In this day we are living, wisdom is needed in greater measure as we share our thoughts and opinions. May we be agents of peace, not letting others incite us to also become angry and rude.
Friendships hold tremendous power.
Under the influence of a wise mentor, teacher, parent, or coach, we will flourish and thrive as character is shaped and molded with their guidance. Let’s choose friendships wisely so that we grow in the fruit of Your Spirit and not in the traits of others.