Growing up our mothers often warned us with the popular saying: “Show me your friend and i will show you your character” whenever they saw us hanging out with a well known stubborn kid.
Personally, my mother would even go a step further to point her finger and say “Yooku, stop being friends with Kwame. He is a bad boy.” But the truth is at the age of seven, I used to call everyone “friend”: the girls i played ‘ampe, with every Friday night (not proud of it), the boys i played paper football with on Saturday, and the area kids i played hide and seek with on Sunday… they were just people i spent a few hours of my life with from time to time. They were “friendships” devoid of any real connection.
Unfortunately this childlike concept of friendship made the saying show me your friend and i will show you your character seem like just another cliche. I mean, although through out the years i met Kwame and other group of boys to play football on weekends, i am in no way the the rude aggressive bully Kwame is now.
A couple of years ago it hit me, as I grew older I established relationships of stronger bonds as compared to my childhood. Other individuals and I began to share thoughts, ideas, strengths and weaknesses to the extent that we found ourselves adopting certain characteristics from each other. It is at such a point that “Show me your friend and i will show you your character” strongly applies.
Your friend can make or unmake you. Even God is aware of this. In Exodus 23:33, He warned the Israelites not to allow for any idol worshipers to dwell in their land “lest they make ‘them’ sin against ‘Him'”.
Bad company as the name implies is not good. However several people, including christians, like to have them dwelling in their land. They often come up with some excuse to justify their action: “Even Jesus came for the sinners and not the saved or Even Jesus sat with Pharisees & Sadducees, and all kinds of sinners.” But this is only true to on extent. Of course, It is not wrong to relate to different individuals (however bad or good), as a matter of fact it should be promoted. No one likes a self-righteous, judgmental character. Unfortunately the problem lies in fellow-shipping. Note that God warned the Israelites not to allow idol worshipers to dwell in their land (fellowship)… what i would tell you though is nothing stops you from visiting or receiving visits (relating).
The incorruptible truth is Jesus willingly, intentionally and consciously surrounded himself with a particular group of people known as the twelve disciples. Although one of them strayed, they all yearned for the things of God to the extent that they were willing to let go of their blossoming vocations for it. Even Jesus, the Messiah, Son of God, Word made flesh knew the importance of friends to himself. How much more you and I.
I guess all i am asking is Who are you spending your time with? Who are you bonding with? Who are your friends?