Friendships are touchy things. Some last. Some don’t. My best male friend, Doug, and I have been friends for over 40 years. Others run through “friends” like water runs through a sieve. Jay Kesler, the former president of Youth for Christ, once said, “One of my goals in life is to wind up with eight men who are willing to carry one of my handles.”
One of the most enduring friendships was the one between Jack Benny and George Burns. George was asked about it and he said, “Jack and I had a wonderful friendship for nearly 55 years. Jack never walked out on me when I sang a song, and I never walked out on him when he played the violin. We laughed together, we played together, we worked together, we ate together. I suppose that for many of those years we talked every single day.” You don’t hear much like that any more do you?
Friendships have the ability to pull us up or tear us down. Frankly, no matter how much we talk about acceptance, there are times we need to be a tad bit more discerning toward who we hang around with. The Apostle Paul knew that: “Do not be deceived: Bad company corrupts good morals.” I Cor.15:33 George Washington knew it: “Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.”
There are some people we ought to avoid or stop associating with. I plan to talk about those people Sunday morning:
- The Chronic Critic
- The Controller
- The Tempter
I also plan on spending some time in Proverbs 6:16-19. But I don’t plan on doing that in a negative way, but in a positive light. And if I may so bold, that is an assignment I’d like to ask you to work on. Taking those characteristics listed, how would you put a positive spin on them when it comes to people with whom to associate?
I’d like to hear you thoughts. I’d also like to know how you discern whether you will stay in a friendship with someone or cut it off.