Decision #4 - The Friendship Decision
September 22, 2020
We’ve been looking at the supposition that we as human beings only make five to seven major decisions in our lives, and then we spend our lives managing those decisions. The evidence seems to largely bear that out. So far we have looked at…
- our worldview/view of God
- the choice of whether or not to marry/whom to marry
- our work—a job, career, or calling
This week we want to think about the friends we allow to be in our circle. If you google “How do friends impact/influence your life?”, there are pages and pages of articles from all kinds of perspectives. There are medical experts who say that your choice of friends impacts your health and the way you take care of yourself. There are style and trendsetters who say your friends impact your “brand,” the way you look, and the way people think about you. Educators have written articles saying that your friends affect how much you will become educated and how well you will do. Economic experts say your friends will influence your income potential. Addiction specialists say your friends influence whether or not you can recover. Psychologists say your friends have an indelible mark on your mental and emotional health. The evidence is clear—every area of life is powerfully impacted by the friends you decide to include in your life.
The Bible even talks about it. Proverbs 13:20 says, “Walk with the wise and become wiser still, but a companion of fools suffers harm.” The truth is our friendships make or break us, and we will be managing those decisions the rest of our lives. The impact of our friendship decisions will follow us into eternity.
There’s no question that we are to relate to the world around us with great love, compassion, and friendship. But we are to be the influencers; the ones guiding the relationship. The people closest to us, the ones in our inner circles, the ones to whom we give the opportunity to influence us, our families, and our decisions—they had better be people who are making wise and godly choices. Otherwise, they will have a negative influence us and pull us away from wisdom. Amos 3:3 says, “Can two people walk together unless they agree where to go?” Of course not. If they don’t agree, one of them will change the direction they intended to go. That’s what will happen to you.
All the ways those experts say your friend’s choices will affect you are significant. But far more important than your brand, your style, your income, or your education are the things that truly shape who you are. The decisions you make about your friendships will impact your moral choices, your character, your walk with God, and your children…on and on. Forever.
You think that’s a stretch? Think about your own life. How different would your life be now if your parents had made different choices? If you came from a great, godly home with wonderful influencers? How different would your life be now if your dad had chosen dishonest friends? How different would life be if your parents ran with people who didn’t prioritize their families, and they and most of their friends had divorces and addictions?
Or, if your growing up was rough, how different would your life be if your folks had chosen friends who didn’t have addictions, who worked regularly, who chose each other for life?
We often want to say that our life is just our own and our choices only affect us. Not true. That’s a very painful misperception, and we often discover it too late. We make decisions that follow us for a long time.
Do you know the new song that is rocking our Christian world with joy? It’s called “The Blessing”? It says that the blessing of God on you for your godly decisions to follow Him faithfully will follow you and your family and your children’s children for generations. The other side of that is that your bad decisions, particularly in relationships, will follow you and your children’s children for a long, long time, too.
Relationships are so important. Make wise decisions. You’ll be managing them for a long time.