Choose Your Friends Wisely

Walk with the wise

So I settled into my chair on the balcony with a cup of coffee this morning and decided to read through some old devotionals and I came upon this one and after reading it I just knew that I had to share it with all of you.  It is written by Andy Stanley and its about Proverbs 13:20: Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm. I hope you enjoy this, God Bless you all, Jay.

We live in a culture that baits us to do things we have no business doing and then chastises us when we do them. It’s crazy. I get asked this question all the time: “Andy, is it a sin to . . .?” That’s the wrong question. The better question is: “In light of the fact that there is disaster out there somewhere, where should I place a guardrail?”

On a highway, guardrails keep a car from straying into dangerous or offlimits areas. Personal guardrails keep us from straying into regret. They’re standards of behavior that become matters of conscience. They help us to decide, “In this area of my life, this is as far as I will go.”

One area of life where it’s good to establish some guardrails is your friendships. At some point in your life, you are going to find yourself close to people whose lives are moving in the opposite direction of yours. When that happens, you will need the space that guardrails provide to keep from being swept in the wrong direction.

My wife, Sandra, and I have a good friend who told us this story.

When she was thirteen years old, she was dating a guy who was sixteen. She couldn’t understand why her mom wanted her to break up with him. He was cute and he could drive. It was like she had her own chauffeur.

Our friend was on the softball team at school. One afternoon during a game, her boyfriend was behind the backstop watching her pitch. She saw her mom slide up next to him and call him out. She knew what was happening. Her mom was breaking up with him for her. Sure enough, the boyfriend sat down with a sad look on his face.

Now, why would a mama do such a thing? Because mamas understand an important principle: our friends influence the direction and quality of our lives.

Think about it. Your greatest regrets probably happened when you were with friends. Some of the most addictive behaviors imaginable begin as pastimes with friends. Gradually, without noticing, you are involved in things that you used to criticize. If you could go back in time, you would reduce the influence of those friends in order to spare yourself regrets.

I don’t know of a place where this principle is stated more clearly than in Proverbs 13:20:

Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.

The first half of the verse is a promise. It states that wisdom is contagious. Wise people understand that what they do today influences who they will be tomorrow.

The second half of the verse is a warning. According to Scripture, a fool is a person who knows the difference between right and wrong but doesn’t care. The verse doesn’t say that you will become a fool if you spend time with fools. It says that if you spend your life with fools, you will eventually be hit by the shrapnel from the explosions in their lives, whether you adopt their way of thinking or not.

The best way to be a friend to someone who is moving in the opposite direction is to stay on this side of your guardrail so that when he or she crashes, you’ll be healthy enough to help.

So here’s my question: Will you do what you know you need to do when it comes to your friendships; will you establish some guardrails? Friendships are great, but they can also be dangerous because “he who walks with the wise will become wise, but the companion of fools will eventually suffer harm.” Your friends will influence and possibly determine the direction and quality of your life. It’s your move.

Men Date Your Wife

proverbs-18 22

Proverbs 18:22 says, “The man that finds a wife finds a good thing; she is a blessing to him from the Lord.”

I wrote the following on Facebook this morning and I thought I would share it here also.
Once again I’m going to use Facebook to embarrass my lovely wife, and I know more than once I have been reminded, (as we all should be) that whatever you post on Facebook or anywhere else on the Internet, is the same as shouting it out on the street corner, gossiping at the local diner, on the jumbo-tron at the Super Bowl,Times Square, Tabloids, TMZ or wherever you get your news. I don’t care! I am who I am, take it or leave it. I’m alright with the big man upstairs and as long as I do right by HIM I’m ok. So if I want to use this platform to write love letters to my wife I will.
Yesterday, March 23rd was the 35th Anniversary of our first date, the day I fell in love. For the whole world to see I want to tell you how much I love you. You are such an amazing woman. To me there is no other as lovely as you are…inside and out. No one has your eyes, your laugh, your gentleness, your beautiful heart. There are moments when I catch myself saying WOW, that’s my wife. Those moments come in the most ordinary times…when your laughing with our family, spending time with our grandchildren, when you and I are together doing nothing at all. I’m still amazed that out of all the men in the world, I’m the one who gets to share life with you. After all this time, I still don’t know the reasons why God trusted me with one of His most amazing gifts..YOU. But I’ll be grateful every day for the rest of my life that He did.

I have always believed that we shouldn’t date to marry, we should marry so that we can date. And sweetie after 35 years, if you’ll still have me, I want to date you for the rest of my life.

Jesus says, ”The one who tries to save his life will certainly lose it; but the one who loses his life will be rewarded with a full and abundant life.”

There is no question that the more you love (put first) your wife the richer and more rewarding your own life will be. And life is full of opportunities to carry out this challenge. Don’t forget to keep dating your wife. It may seem like a trifle but little acts of selfless concern communicate far more effectively than almost anything else. Your wife’s welfare is in your hands. Provide real leadership. Not the bossy kind, but gentle illustrations of the fact that her well-being—physical, emotional, and spiritual—is a major concern in your life.

The term Love is over used these days.  I love coffee, I love sports, etc.  You like those things, you don’t really love them.  Love is “placing the welfare of the other ahead of your own.”  It’s the sacrifices you make of yourself for another.  Men if you love your wife, truly love her, then date her.  Date your wife all the days of your lives.