In his book “Simplify,” Willow Creek Pastor Bill Hybels devotes an entire, long chapter to choosing your friends carefully. He says that your friends are part of what makes your life complicated or simple. That makes sense to me. Foolish people have a lot of drama. And drama is complicated.
Even Solomon says: “walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.” There is a saying around that says something to the affect of: “If you will introduce me to your 5 closest friends, I will be able to tell how successful you are. Because you are the average of your 5 closest friends.”
There is a lot of truth in that. And if that is true for success, how much more important is it for wisdom. A wise person focuses on successful living, not living for success. He creates balance in life. A wise person will balance the spiritual, family, financial, career, social, intellectual and physical parts of life so that they all prosper. Not just one area. And that is true success!
So if stupid rubs off and you do not want to end up a fool with an overload of drama in your life, choose wise friends. Friends who do balance! Friends who are successful at living!
The good news is, just as stupid rubs off, so wise rubs off. Like the verse I quoted earlier from Solomon says. So find wise friends and you’ll find their wisdom rub off on you. And when we become wise, we become stable. The drama disappears. And life becomes abundant. In all areas. Fool can be rich, but he’ll do it at the expense of some other value. It takes a wise man to live an abundant life that balances values.
Sometimes we do friends by default too. And we end up with friends that influence us in ways we never intended. It is worth the effort to do friends wisely. Sometimes that means reorganising who gets direct access to you. And sometimes it means letting them go.
When it is time to let them go, do so lovingly. Just because they haven’t come to the point where they are not ready to grow to the next level, doesn’t mean they are worth any less than you are. God’s invitation to live their best life extends to them too. And all of us have failed to accept God’s invitation into what He created us to be before.
But don’t let them keep you from the invitation God is extending to you now. God is more important than friends are. God’s plans and design for your life is more important than friends are. So choose God. Choose the best life He created you for. Choose to be elbow rubbed by wisdom instead of stupid.