How Do You Choose Your Friends?

How Do You Choose Your Friends?

It has now been a month since Natalie Cole died in Los Angeles from congestive heart failure. She was 65. There was a glamour side to her life, in that she was a nine-time Grammy award-winning singer. Her life also had a dark side. When Natalie was in high school she began experimenting with drugs. At the start of college, she dated a boy named Jimmy and began singing with his band. Natalie was on drugs at this time. After college she began using heroin and her drug use increased. After a brief hiatus from drugs, she got married, had a son, and began using drugs again. This time it was cocaine. There were car accidents, a divorce, child neglect, lack-luster performances and missed shows.

She first entered rehab in 1982, but after a 30-day stay, she went right back to drugs.
Some thought she was going to die, so she entered rehab again in 1983. While this stint in rehab seemed to work, substance abuse took a toll on her health. In 2007 she contracted hepatitis C from sharing needles in the past. Treatment for liver disease damaged her kidneys and her health continued to deteriorate.

Whitney Houston, another Grammy award-winning singer, died in 2012 of drowning as a result of heart disease and cocaine use. Her brother introduced her to drugs.

In each of these cases, someone close became an influence that resulted in death. The Bible tells us not to be deceived about bad company ruining good morals. It also says to stay away from people with anger or those that make promises since you will learn their ways and fall into a trap. The friends you chose will likely affect your life and those around you as long as you live.

The greatest friend to have is God. The Bible says to draw near to him and He will draw near to you as you cleanse your hands and purify your heart. Are you being influenced by the greatest friend of all?

Friends

A recent study from the United Kingdom revealed that one person in ten had no close friends. When Geoffrey Grelf, a professor of social work at the University of Maryland, was asked if that sounded right, he felt it was a safe bet.

Grelf studied the relationship of couples in the United States and reported that most adult couples have friends, but the number varies significantly. It ranged from five to thirty, but it was not indicated if these were best friends. When Chris Peterson, a world-renowned psychologist, was asked to sum up decades of psychology research, he said “other people matter”.

The Bible goes a bit further and talks about what it means to be a genuine friend. It would definitely be someone you are close to, someone with a kindred spirit. It is a person who is very concerned with your welfare and would not desert you in a time of difficulty. Jesus desires to be this type of friend when He said “I will never leave you or forsake you”. Jesus is a friend worth having.