Pick Good Friends

The Latest Word from John Ed Mathison

One of the most important things we can do is to pick good friends.  Remember, the Bible says, “There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24).  We have a lot of choices.  Making good selections for friends must be a priority.

Trying to go through life alone is tough.  Isolation can lead to many unhealthy issues.  Strong, solid Christian relationships become a strength in facing the issues of life.

Every morning, I offer a one-minute audio devotional thought for the day.  Several radio stations carry this.  We also place it on Facebook so anybody can have access to it.  I do the recording at Frazer’s studio, but I have no idea how to get it on Facebook.  I am extremely technology-challenged!  My son Si is good at it, so he has assumed responsibility of taking the recording, going through a process of placing it on YouTube, writing a brief note about it, and making it available on Facebook.  I do the audio devotional, and Si navigates the technology so that anyone can hear it.  In this way, we work together and make a good team.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 says, “Two can accomplish twice as much as one.  For the results can be much better if one falls, the other pulls him up.  But if a man falls when he is alone, he is in trouble.  How can one be warm alone?  One standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back to back and conquer.  Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”

There is great advantage in having good friends.  The writer of Hebrews says we are “surrounded by a huge crowd of spectators” (Hebrews 12:1).  When we live life knowing people are pulling for us, even those in Heaven, we can accomplish more.  The home team always has an advantage.

A few years ago, it was extremely dangerous to go downtown Montgomery after midnight.  You would have never caught me by myself.  At that time Frazer had a couple of church members, Tommy Neville, all pro offensive tackle for the Boston Patriots, and Mike Kolen, all pro middle line backer for the Miami Dolphins.  Hey – I would go with those two guys anywhere and not have any fear!  I would not go alone, but the three of us could go anywhere!

My good friend Jere Beasley, to whom I give one dollar each year to keep him on retainer, tells about an incident in his life when he was in the third grade.  A new Baptist preacher moved to town and had a fifth grade son named John Henry.  John Henry was actually a few grades behind and was much bigger than the rest of the fifth graders.  He used that to his advantage to bully them.  I’ve always said you had to watch those Baptist preachers’ kids!

During recess John Henry would take the lunch money from the other boys.  He would also pick on them and sometimes rough them up a bit.  This went on for several days.

One day Jere organized 11 other boys and told them it was time to stop this bullying.  They agreed to have all 12 confront John Henry on the playground.  They elected Jere as their spokesman. 

The next day during recess, Jere, with the 11 boys behind him, began approaching John Henry.  Jere began explaining to John Henry what was about to happen – the bullying was going to stop and he and his buddies were going to rough him up.  Was he ready for it?  John Henry looked at Jere and smiled, and said “You are the only person I see.  Where are your buddies?”  Jere looked around – the 11 had left him!  Jere soon discovered he was no match for John Henry and took a pretty good whuppin’ – as it’s called.  Jere’s buddies didn’t stick with him.

In life, it’s so important to pick friends who are dependable and encouraging and will “stick with you.”  Good friends are a tremendous asset.  Today, prayerfully pick your friends.  It will make all the difference in the world!

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