† Friends and the Company We Keep

How do you choose your friends? Are they like you or completely different? In life we are judged by the company we keep. In other words, hang out with thugs and you are a thug, hang out with thieves and you’re a thief, is it true? No, but it is how most people think.

Growing up, I never had many friends in high school. I mainly kept to myself. As I grew up and went in the Army at 17 years old, I had a bunch, but not real ones. You know the kind that wanted what they could get from you. Once you were out, they were too. Out of money (out of sight). Out of gas (out of sight). Most of the times for me they seemed to be tough guys… the ones that got in trouble a lot. I was often warned to stay away from them, because I would be marked as one of them. Did I listen? Of course not.

If we are being honest, we’ve all had those friends, and some of us still have them today. After 29 years in the military and lots of acquaintances later, I can count on one hand the number of true friends I had.  I believe that people come into our life for a few reasons. They come to teach us, learn from us, support us, and possibly even use us then move on.  Some of the lessons are not as valuable as others, but they are lessons, nonetheless. It took a long time for me to learn this, but I have one true friend; one that promises to never to leave nor forsake me (Hebrews 13:5); to always have my best interest at heart, that knows what’s best for me even when I think I do, but I don’t.

We all need that friend that’s quiet sometimes but is always listening to us.  A friend that helps you do right when you want to do wrong.  The one that says no, when your mind says yes; a friend that’s praying for you (Romans 8:34). A friend that wants to lead you and allows you to follow with no strings attached. Maybe just one “Love me as I have loved you—Jesus is that friend. (John15:14)

My brothers, if you’re looking for a real friend, because the ones you have constantly let you down, or steer you in the wrong direction, try Jesus.  Let Him be that friend who will help you, when you are at your lowest or guide you when you’re at your strongest and be with you when no one else will. Try Him. He is truly the best Friend and Company you will ever keep.  (May God continue to bless you, your brother in Christ…TMK).

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