With few exceptions, your success in life depends on your ability to establish and maintain relationships with the right people. According to a report by the American Management Association the overwhelming consensus of two hundred managers who participated in a survey, was that the most important skill of an executive is his or her ability to get along with people. They rated this ability as more vital than intelligence, decisiveness, knowledge, or job skills. Quite frankly, none of us makes very many true friends in life - at least, we better not! Solomon warns, ‘A man of too many friends comes to ruin.’ Friendship requires time, energy, sacrifice, and investing yourself. And not every so-called friend will prove to be one, as Jeremiah warned King Zedekiah: ‘They misled you and overcame you - those trusted friends of yours. Your feet are sunk in the mud; your friends have deserted you’ (Jeremiah 38:22 NIV 2011 Edition). The wrong friend will betray you, as Judas proved with Jesus. So, here’s a good rule of thumb: ‘Be friendly to everyone, but don’t have everyone as a friend.’ Solomon said, ‘The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray’ (Proverbs 12:26 NLT). Charles Spurgeon said, ‘A man is known by the company he shuns, as well as the company he keeps.’ The Hebrew word for ‘choose’ is tur, and in the Old Testament it refers to a man like a surveyor who searches out land. So, if you’re wise, you’ll explore and evaluate your friendships before you enter into them. You say, ‘But I’m lonely.’ As George Washington said, ‘It is better to be alone than in bad company.’
Copyright © Bob and Debby Gass. Used by permission.