By Tope Banso
“The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray” (Proverbs 12:26 New King James Version).
One path to failure and destruction in life is to be in wrong relationships. This includes marriage relationships and the friends you keep. As the saying goes, “Show me who your friend are and I will tell you who you are.” Perhaps, a truer statement is, “Show me who your friends are, and I will tell you what you will become.” Relationship is vital to greatness in life. Who you walk with influences what you become.
In 2020 and beyond, whether you’re a pastor, businessman, student or any other thing, avoid wrong relationships. If you want to succeed in the New Year, you must avoid or quit wrong relationships, including courtship, friendship and partnership. Many lives are going the downward spiral because of wrong relationships. Many destinies are trapped in marriages they shouldn’t have gone into. May the LORD have mercy on such people.
Nobody comes into your life and leave you the same. He either adds to you or removes from you, lifts you up or pulls you down, encourages you or discourages you, and so on. No matter the potential you have, a wrong company will only help you to amount to nothing. .
Someone has rightly said that it is better to stand alone than to be in a wrong company. I agree completely. “Do not be deceived: ‘Evil company corrupts good habits’” (1 Corinthians 15:33 New King James Version). Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, a friend sharpens a friend” (New Living Translation). How can you be sharpened by a friend who is blunt – dull? You’ll soon become like him.
According to Ecclesiastes 10:10, “If the ax is dull, and one does not sharpen the edge, Then he must use more strength; but wisdom brings success” (New King James Version). Wisdom dictates that if you’re serious about being sharpened, you look for someone sharper than you, not a dull person. If you company with those who are not heading for a future similar to what you desire for yourself, they’ll take you to where they’re going.
A wise person chooses his friends carefully. “The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray” (Proverbs 12:26 New King James Version). Because relationship is vital to greatness in life, the righteous doesn’t go into relationship with just anyone. God warned Judah not to join Israel in her idolatry, but to leave her to face the consequences of her rebellion (Hosea 4:15-19).
Your future is going to be determined, a great deal, by the type of people you are in relationship with. If your friends and associates are wrong, your life and future will be wrong, no matter what appears to the contrary now. Mike Mudorck says, “Life is a collection of relationships.” He is right.
The Bible says, “Whoever walks with the wise will become wise; whoever walks with fools will suffer harm” (Proverbs 13:20 New Living Translation). Another version says, “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed” (New King James Version). Your future can’t be brighter than the quality of relationships you have. Those who are in wrong relationships in form of friends, advisers, mentors and role models will ruin their lives.
Amnon, David’s oldest son, had an evil person, a crafty man, Jonadab, as his adviser. That led to his premature and violent death. Jonadab taught Amnon how to perfect his lust towards his half-sister, Tamar. He taught him how to rape Tamar. A God-fearing friend would have silenced Amnon, and killed his lust for his half-sister, but Jonadab was his counselor (2 Samuel 13:1-6).
Amnon raped Tamar but two years later, he reaped what he had sown. Absalom, Tamar’s brother, plotted and killed him (verses 23-29). The family was no longer the same after the rape and the revenge by Absalom. Who is your friend? Who are your counselors? Quit wrong relationships and avoid going into wrong relationships in 2020.
2 Corinthians 6:14-16 warns, “Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can goodness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and the Devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever? And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols?” (New Living Translation).
Dinah would not have been defiled by Shechem if she had not gone to see the daughters of the land. It was her desire for relationship that put her in that trouble. Remember, Dinah’s mother, Leah, was not loved by Dinah’s father, Jacob. Probably this negatively affected her self-esteem and she looked outside for friendship, but in the wrong place (Genesis 29:31-33).
As necessary as relationships are, it is better to stand alone, than to be in a wrong relationship. “Now Dinah the daughter of Leah, whom she had borne to Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land. And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her and lay with her, and violated her” (Genesis 34:1-2 New King James Version).
Don’t open your life up to just anybody. You need only quality relationships. Prayerfully let God lead you into relationships that will impact positively on your destiny. Avoid going into relationships that will leave you empty. Many today are in that condition but are yet to realize it just like Israel didn’t (Hosea 7:8-9).
Cultivate right relationships in 2020 and beyond. Not everybody can be your friends, and that does not mean they’re your enemies. You may be a pastor, student, housewife, businessman, but not every colleague can be your friend. Consider your destiny. Choose your relationships carefully. Be guided by the Word and the Spirit of God.
If you’re not born again, repent of your sins today and accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. Whoever comes to Him, He will by no means cast out.
PRAYER POINT: Father, I repent of every wrong relationship I am in and quit such today/ Holy Spirit help me to choose my relationships wisely as from today.
This is wisdom for living, and it’s worth sharing. Please share.
(For over 250 in-depth and insightful messages by T.O. Banso, visit: www.cedarministry.org).
▪ Banso heads Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria
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