image credit: heritage art.com

image credit: heritage art.com

The proverb goes; “show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are” another one goes; “birds of the same feather flock together”. Growing up, I heard those proverbs repeatedly. I initially assumed that avoiding the gathering of the ‘bad cliques’ was sufficient. However, I have come to learn that avoiding evil is not directly proportional to doing good. Have you examined your friends lately? Do you like what you see? Because you are what they are.

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The beauty of friendship cannot be measured by words neither can it be quantified in numbers. William Butler Yeats said; ‘think where man’s glory most begins and ends, and say my glory was I had such friends’. Friendships  exist to mould us, improve us and uphold us. We may be alone in life, but good friends make the journey worthwhile. They see our dreams as their own and encourage us when we fall. However, many of us do not analyse our friendships, we simply go along for the ride as though no harm could be done. Yet we are stifling our growth by the company we keep.
Do your friends add any value to you? Write down a list of your closest friends, and ask yourself these questions;
1) How do I improve his/her life?
2) How does he/she improve my life?
3) Does our friendship achieve any purpose?
Too many friendships are superficial. Have you ever sat down to ask what value your friends provide. A good laugh and a good cry are great, but is there any substance in the fellowship you share? Are you a better person for knowing them? Can they say the same about you?
4) Do I feel nourished by our encounters?
Too many people simply know how to take. We know that friend, the selfish one. The one who does not understand that friendship is based on the condition of the ‘friend’, not theirs. The one who thinks of themselves alone, the one who places their happiness above the feelings of others.
5) Has this friendship reached its dead-end?
Just like seasons of the year, seasonal friendships exist. Our encounters with others and our attachments to them may be for a season only. It is important to acknowledge that and to let go when the time comes to do so. Not all friendships need to last forever and toxic friends should be cut off with immediate alacrity. The question is this; do you know when to cut off a friend? If your friends are not moulding you into the person who want to be; a person of virtue, it may be time to pause and re-evaluate those connections.
Remember that the habits of your friends will inevitably manifest in you. ‘Do not be deceived; Bad company, corrupts good morals’ 1 Corinthians 15:33
Unit next time!! xx