I have a friend who is down and out right now. He is really struggling. And my heart goes out to him.
Along life's journey, he has made some wrong choices. And now he is suffering the consequences. His life is painful and his heart is heavy.
I don't look down on him or think less of him. We all are sinners, and we all make wrong choices. I too am a sinner that is saved by grace, and I am no better than him.
The other day, he and I were talking on the phone. At one point of the conversation, he said this: "You know, David, I just really need to surround myself with good people. I need the right kind of people in my life."
I told him I agree.
The truth is, we all need that.
Here's what Psalm 1:1 tells us: "Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, or stand in the way of sinners, or sit in the company of mockers." When I read this verse, here's what I think it's saying: We must be careful about who we closely connect with. The right kind of people can lift us up, and the wrong kind of people can drag us down.
While I think it's a good thing to smile and be friendly to everyone, I also think it's important to be selective in who we pick as our closest friends. Even though everyone fails in life, some folks will inspire us to live better and reach higher. Other folks will be happy to pull us away from God and down an unhealthy path.
I'm proud of my friend. He's getting it! He realizes his need for connecting with the right kind of people.
May we all do the same.
I think it was the principal of a high school here in Sumter, SC who put it best. He constantly reminded his students of this golden nugget of wisdom: "Show me your friends, and I'll show you your future." Amen.