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  • Writer's pictureOlufunmilayo Adekusibe

HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR FRIENDS


 

Readings:

Genesis 15:1-12,17-18

Psalm 105:1-4,6-9

Matthew 7:15-20

 

One of the biggest challenges when you become successful in any sphere of life is that it becomes hard to tell true friends from those who love your success. This is why it is important, at an early stage, to develop a way of telling good from rotten people. “Beware of false prophets,” Jesus says to his disciples. “Who come to you disguised as sheep but underneath are ravenous wolves. You will be able to tell them by their fruits.”


Fruits are the products of living things. Just as living things produce biological fruits, people produce spiritual fruits which are either rotten or good. Someone whose way of life contravenes God’s laws and acceptable moral norms is “rotten”. People whose lives closely match God’s commandment of love are “good”. Martin Luther King, Jr. famously said of his children that they will live in a world that will judge them, “not by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character." The content of a good character are: Honesty, trustworthy, humility, self-sacrifice, generosity, self-discipline (especially the tongue), control of one’s passions, good associations, a good sense of humour, obedient to God’s commands, hardworking and firm in prayer. Do not take these lightly.


A persons’ goodness or rottenness can be contagious. This is why we say, “Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are”. You share the characters of the people you call friends whether you realise it or not. The things they love are the things you enjoy. The way they speak soon rubs off on you. When you consider some of their behaviour excessive, if you are not actively asking them to stop, you are unconsciously giving in to their thoughts. You need to pay attention to the people you are in relationship with. They are either leading you closer to your desired destination (which is ultimately eternal life) or they are leading you away from it. There are no neutral grounds in friendship. By what criteria do you choose your friends? Are your friends good or bad influences?


Because you are linked to people, their destiny is invariably tied to yours. If they are sound trees, they will bear good fruits and so will you. If they are rotten, they will bear bad fruits and so will you. And as good trees are pruned so that they produce more fruits and become richer, so will you and those in your life. If, unfortunately, you are a rotten tree, you are setting yourself up for destruction because you failed to dissociate yourself from persons of questionable character.

JUDE-MARY OWOH


 

Prayer:

  1. O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.

  2. May God deliver me from the influences of wolves dressed as sheep and rotten trees disguised as good.

  3. May those I associate with be sources of strength when I am weak; comfort in my affliction; light in my dark times; and a ray of joy in my times of sadness, in Jesus name.

  4. Father we hand over our children, youths and young adults to your fatherly care, teach them the path of righteousness, in Jesus name.

  5. Lord, grant that there be love and unity in the body of Christ, that they may proclaim the Gospel of Truth boldly in love, in Jesus name.

  6. Father, use the situation in our nation to increase and strengthen your kingdom, in Jesus name.

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