‘Life is partly what we make it and partly what it is made by the friends we choose ‘Tennessee Williams (American Playwright 1911-1983)
Life is a beautiful journey.The way we walk it today will determine our destination tomorrow. Through my 20 something years on this road, I have come to know that right relationships are very essential. People can be the angels that lift us up and serve as destiny helpers. They can also be the ones to bring us so low that there is no more self-worth left in us.
Good friends will take on your hands when you think you are incapable. They will stand by and with you through thick and thin. They won’t only tell you the things you love and want to hear but those genuine things that sink deep into the crevices of your mind and causes you to retrace your steps. They will build you up with both hands through the counsel they give.
Bad friends on the other hand will help lead you into a path of self-destruction. They will seemingly build you with one hand and destroy you with the other. They will influence your wrong thoughts, which may lead to wrong decisions and actions. These will in turn lead to bad habits. In addition, those habits will help frame your character. Mind you, your character is your destiny, whether good or bad. My mum will always say ”a bad friend is like a rodent who in your sleep, bites and gently blows you at the same time. It’s only when you wake from your slumber that you feel the pain of their bite.”
The good news in all this is that, you and I have the power to choose whom we allow full access. We can qualify who reaches where. We also have the sole power to place boundaries to avoid any sort of violation. The kind of relationships you build upon will have a strong effect on your attitudes and will greatly influence the course of your destiny.
One of my brother in ministry, Onyi Anyado of B1 coaching services would say, “Who are the people you speak to regularly and what are they saying to you? If U surround yourself with Wise, Strong, Motivated and Passionate people guess what rubs on you?
Determining whose words you lend a listening ear to is important if you want to succeed greatly .A good tree will produce good fruit, and a bad tree will produce bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit.So every tree that does not produce good fruit should be chopped down and thrown into the fire.Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you are able to identify people by their actions and make a choice on whom to befriend.(Read Mat 7:15-20)
In the book of 1 Kings in the bible, there is the story of Rehoboam, the son of King Solomon, one of the wisest men to have ever lived. His father died and as God had promised, he (Rehoboam) inherited the kingdom of Israel.
His father Solomon was the strict kind of person who made laws that were so tough that some of his adversaries had to flee. It was only after his demise that some of his adversaries’ offspring began to return;one of such was Jeroboam. He returned from Egypt whence he had fled to and together with the leaders of Israel went to speak to King Rehoboam. They wanted him to lighten the harsh labour demands and heavy taxes that his father had imposed upon the people. If he yielded to to their request, they were ready to become his loyal subjects.
Rehoboam knew how essential relationship was so he asked for three days to think it over. In that time, he went to the ‘older counsellors’ to seek advice on the matter. This is what they said to him, “If you will be a servant to this people today and serve them, and speak good words to them when you answer them, then they will be your servants forever. (1 Kings 12:7 ESV).
Because this was not pleasing to his ear, he rejected their counsel. He instead decided to seek the opinion of the young men who had grown up with him and were now his advisers.’ ” What is your advice?” he asked them. “How should I answer these people who want me to lighten the burdens imposed by my father?” The young men replied, “This is what you should tell those complainers who want a lighter burden: ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist! Yes, my father laid heavy burdens on you, but I’m going to make them even heavier! My father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with scorpions!’”(1 Kings 12:8-10 NLT).This seemed in his favour so he decided to base his response to the people on his friends’ advice. His reply was unwelcomed by the leaders of Israel .This led to chaos and disorder in the kingdom because the tribes of Israel eventually refused to accept him as king or submit to him as subjects. This,unfortunately caused him to lose part of the kingdom of Israel and to flee from his own.
I used this story as an illustration because it shows that as much as we have a mind of our own, hearsay can greatly influence our decisions. This story also portrays just how much people can either build or destroy your destiny. Friends can break or make you!
As we have begun the second half of the year, have a re-check of your relationships. Who is adding and who is subtracting to and from your life? Who is draining you? Who is walking you down the path to success? Make a choice today to keep good company lest you end up a fugitive like Rehoboam.Qualify the access.
” Just as lotions and fragrance give sensual delight, a sweet friendship refreshes the soul. ”Proverbs 27:9(MSG)
© July 2010 Aminata.A R .Dibassey