Choose Your Friends Wisely
You are who you hang around.
Birds of a feather flock together.
Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.
If you surround yourself with clowns, don’t be surprised when your life resembles a circus.
Your company determines your character.
All of the statements above warn you about the company you keep. As humans we are naturally sponges – we absorb bits and pieces of our environments and the people closest to us. Have you ever started hanging out with someone frequently and found yourself starting to do things that they did or say things that they say without even thinking about it? We subconsciously consume everything around us so we must watch the company we keep! It is okay to take a step back and assess the character of the people closest to us. Of course we all have flaws and have fallen short, but we must protect our spirits. I’m not saying that you have to cut people off left and right, but you do have the right to control what goes on when they are around you. Protect your peace!If you surround yourself with clowns, don't be surprised when your life resembles a circus. Click To Tweet
Watch the Company You Keep
That was an excerpt taken from my book, GROW. One of the sections in that book is about relationships and the importance of having the right people around you. Proverbs 12:26 tells us that the righteous choose their friends carefully.
A lot of times the people in our circle are there out of convenience. We become friends with our classmates or coworkers simply because we’re always around them. Often times we do this without evaluating what the person brings into our lives. Some people bring stress while others bring peace. Some people help you eliminate distractions while others become the distractions. The company you keep has a huge influence on the way you think, speak, and act.
I want to take a look of some of the greatest friendships in the bible and see what we can learn from them. Today, we’ll be starting with Naomi & Ruth.
Naomi & Ruth
You can find the story of Ruth and Naomi’s relationship in the book of Ruth. Naomi was married to a man named Elimelech and they had two sons – Mahlon and Chilion. They lived in Moab and one day Elimelech died, leaving Naomi with her two sons. They married two women from Moab named Orpah and Ruth. About ten years later, both Mahlon and Chilion died, and Naomi was left with her daughter-in-laws. There are so many things that we can learn from Naomi and Ruth’s relationship, but as I was reading this chapter there were two things that stood out to me the most.
1. Orpah Left
Now I know this is supposed to be about Naomi and Ruth, but as I was reading something really stuck out to me about Orpah’s relationship with her mother-in-law. After the death of her sons, Naomi decided to return to Judah. Naomi told her daughters-in-law to go back to their families and she would make the trip alone. At first, both Ruth and Orpah told her that they would go with her, but eventually Orpah made the decision to go back to her home.
The thing that stuck out to me was that Orpah decided to leave her mother-in-law and she was not chastised for it. Ruth 1: 14-15 says, “Then they lifted up their voices and wept again; and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her. And she said, “Look, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.”
Orpah was meant to be in Naomi’s life only for a season and she made the decision to leave when her time was up. Don’t be afraid to let people go or remove yourself when the relationship is no longer beneficial to either party. It doesn’t mean that you no longer love or care for the person. It just means that you have served your purpose.There is a season for everything and everyone. Don't be afraid to walk away when that season is over. Click To Tweet
2. Ruth Was A Rider
The next big thing that stuck out to me was that Ruth was a rider. She was loyal and she was willing to stick around even in times of adversity. Ruth had just lost her husband, and Naomi lost both her husband and her sons. Anybody would be to’ up from the flo’ up from losses like that. In verses 16 and 17 Ruth told Naomi, “Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, And there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, If anything but death parts you and me.”
Is that not the definition of ride or die? Next to the definition of ride or die on Urban Dictionary should be a picture of Ruth! I think loyalty is a big aspect of friendships. No one wants to be friends with someone that they feel doesn’t have their back. Of course, two people aren’t going to agree on everything all of the time, but to have someone that says no matter what happens, I’m going to stay by your side means a lot. Proverbs 18:24 says, “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
Not everybody is going to deserve your loyalty. Pray for wisdom and the ability to discern who you should and shouldn’t be loyal to. Ask God to remove the people from your life that you shouldn’t be connected to.Everybody doesn't deserve your loyalty. Pray for wisdom and ask God to remove everyone you shouldn't be connected to. Click To Tweet
Prayers for Friendship
Dear Lord, I come to you now knowing that I need your wisdom. I ask that you reveal to me who should be on my team and the position they have in my life. I pray that you take out all of the unreliable people on my team and place in my life friends that stick closer than brothers. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!
God, I trust your plan for my life. I know that you will place people in my life to support me and help fulfill my purpose. I ask that you take away the spirit of _______ (ex: unforgiveness, anger, pride) so that I can be a good friend to others. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!
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