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?