In the fourth section of A Proverbs-Driven Life author Anthony Selvaggio addresses friends. Proverbs has much to say about friends and their influence upon our lives (and us upon them as well).
Most of us have had a sketchy track record with friends. I know I did before I became a Christian. I lived in a normal middle-class suburban neighborhood, but found that many of my friends were a less than positive influence me. We found opportunities to sin, sometimes just for the hell of it (to paraphrase Augustine).
Yet I remember disconnecting myself from one important relationship over the issue of drugs. I tried pot, but decided that was not how I wanted to live (praise God for common grace). It cost me a friendship. But now I can see the toll drugs took on his life. I made a wise choice. But I made so many poor ones too- choices that would plague me for years.
Yes, we need God to give us wisdom about friends. Selvaggio summarizes it as “a Proverbs-driven life knows that friendship is intended to be redemptive.” He and I share a love for The Lord of the Rings, and one of the main themes in that book is friendship. He focuses on Sam and Frodo, but you also see the ties between Aragorn, Legolas & Gimli as well as Merry and Pippen.
Friends, as Selvaggio notes, are hard to gain and even harder to keep.
“We so readily sin against one another, take offense where none was intended, or permit neglect to creep in. Left to ourselves, it can be difficult to know what words and deeds will strengthen and maintain our most vital relationships.”