While looking back over the course of my journey, there have been numerous lessons I have learned. One such teaching, which I hold dear to my heart, has been the importance of seeking God’s wisdom for friendship choices. Had I sought His direction early on in this area, I would have been spared from many great heartaches.
“He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.” (Proverbs 13:20 NASB)
Often times we focus on what is directly in front of us, whereas God asks us to look at a bigger picture. Though our limited vision may perceive that certain individuals would be worthy of friendships, God’s ultimate vision sees the true condition of a heart. At times, what we deem as trustworthy, God regards as danger.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NASB)
Guard Against Leaning On Your Own Understanding
In many situations, where I have experienced hurt, God first brought to my spirit a warning signal regarding individuals within my inner circle. Instead of heeding His alarms, I proceeded to make my own acquaintance selections. However today, when the red flags come within my spirit, I listen and obey.
“How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night.” (Psalm 1:1-2 NASB)
We all have been hurt by persons in our lives we assumed trustworthy, whether they be in conjunction with ministry leadership, mentors, job associates or individuals from our own families. Yet even in the midst of betrayals, God’s Word is clear on how we are to respond. We are called to forgive, to love, to bless and to pray. We must obtain the mind-set of Christ on not only our hurts, but also on those who inflicted the wounds.
“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” (Luke 6:27-28 NASB)
When choosing mentors, ministry leadership, or close inner ties, guard against emotionally driven choices. Remember, there are individuals who seem Godly, while inwardly they are ravaging wolves. Just because someone has a great reputation in the community, or even in the church, doesn’t mean the person has a close walk with God. Therefore, pray and seek God for His choice of relationships. For if you do not, you may soon discover, as I once did, wolves in sheep’s clothing within your inner circle.
One of the greatest blessings in my life has been, God’s removals. However, if I had sought Him before those associations formed, the outcome would have been entirely different. We are to love everyone, yet seek God’s leading in forming friendships.
Written by O’Shea