Making friends easily is not a strong suit of mine. Admittedly, I’m not the warmest person when somebody first meets me. This is mostly because I am an introvert, so I’m inherently wary of new folks. Recently, I’ve been thinking about who I do associate with. It’s something that I think about from time to time anyway, but it’s been more frequent lately.
My two closest friends I’ve known for close to 18 years, and they’ve stayed the two bruhs I trust most in this world, outside of my family. Our friendships have changed as we’ve gotten older, gotten married, had kids, etc. Basically, we all grew up. We don’t hang as much as we used to, but when we do, it’s always a good time. Over the past few years though, we all have forged other friendships outside our circle. For me, this has proven to be at times, a taxing experience.
It has been this way, because I’m leery about who I let into my world now. I got a wife and kids, and I don’t want to expose them to anything, or anyone detrimental. Another issue for me is that I’m for all intents and purposes, an only child. I have younger brothers by my father, and older brothers by father #2, but I’m my mothers only. I didn’t have that communal bond with siblings in the house, so I was my own best friend really. The older I got, the more I stretched my comfort level, but I’m still most comfortable being by myself. Being married, this can sometimes be a problem as I know I may come off as aloof, or anti-social, but really, I’m just in a contented state of “me-ness”. It’s an issue I work to be cognizant of daily.
Two thoughts have made me venture out of my comfort zone lately though, and they’re not mutually exclusive. The first is the realization that we all need people outside our families, to push us past our own boundaries. Many times family will tell us what we want to hear, and not what we need to hear. An outsider, who has our best interest at heart, can be truthful with us. The second thought that helped me reevaluate was that when God had someone do something great in the Bible, they never did it alone. Noah needed help building the Ark, Moses had his brother Aaron with him when he spoke to Pharoah. Jesus said it best when He said, “when two or three are gathered in my name, there will I also be.” We need people in our lives, period.
The same way we need people, we must be mindful of those we spend time with and allow into our lives. With me, I’m trying to live a life pleasing to God, though some days are better than others. There are certain issues I stay on the lookout for. One of them is bad company corrupting good character. Another paraphrased verse is a man cannot take fire into his grasp and not be burned. These verses are instructing us to watch who we associate with. It helps if those we allow around us our like-minded on at least some of the issues we find important. The biggest thing though is that those we are around are generally good natured folks.
It may be a lengthy weeding out process, but if the people left standing can enhance our lives, and us theirs, then the process will be worth it. Be patient, trust God, and follow His direction. Your life will be the better for it.