Words of Wisdom 10/15/14
“My son, if sinful men entice you, do not give in to them. If they say, “Come along with us; let’s lie in wait for innocent blood, let’s ambush some harmless soul; let’s swallow them alive, like the grave, and whole, like those who go down to the pit; we will get all sorts of valuable things and fill our houses with plunder; cast lots with us; we will all share the loot”— my son, do not go along with them, do not set foot on their paths; for their feet rush into evil, they are swift to shed blood. How useless to spread a net where every bird can see it!”
~ Proverbs 1:10-17, The Bible, New International Version
The most difficult time I’ve ever experienced was my final year of high school. The summer just prior, my close, intimate group of girlfriends betrayed me, rejected me, and proceeded to spend our entire senior year trying to destroy me. I will never forget how lonely, angry, and insecure I felt.
I consider myself blessed for having that extremely painful experience because it taught me a very valuable lesson – choose your friends wisely.
Obviously, this is not a new piece of advice. As far back as 700 B.C. (and earlier, I’m sure) people have been warning others about the company we keep. There is an insightful quote by Colin Powell that I want to share with you. However, it would take up this whole post, so here is the link instead.
In a nutshell, Colin Powell says that if we choose to associate with sad, unambitious people, those will be the traits we will nurture in ourselves. If you ask these people to weigh in on your life, to help you make decisions, they will always offer advice, even though they have no experience. You can almost certainly depend on the fact that the advice they give will be self-serving, they will not have your best interests in mind. These are the “sinful men” that our proverb talks about. They will soon destroy themselves – and you, if you associate with them.
But…before you hastily turn your back on all of your friends and break hearts and spirits, talk to your friends. Tell them that you are embarking on a journey of growth and discovery. You want to set and achieve some goals and you would like them to be a part of that journey.
If they react positively, they may be ready to grow with you.
If they react with doubt, fear, or ridicule, then you know they are not going to keep up with you as you progress.
Gently break free of these people. They may change their minds as they see you succeed or they may become more hurtful and aggressive towards you. Do what is best for you and you will most certainly be doing what is best for them.
Seek out new friends, mentors, and companions for the journey – people with similar interests and ambitions. Continue on your path to enlightenment and bless everyone you can along the way.