Making Wise Friend Requests
Fr. Hector Firoglanis
Have you ever heard the old saying: "Show my your friends and I'll show you your future?" It's a wise saying that stems from a biblical concept in the Book of Proverbs: "He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed" (13:20).
Our Lord Jesus Christ was a popular figure in His time and associated with all types of people: wealthy and poor, strong and weak, healthy and sick, saint and sinner. However, He had only a few select friends. The Disciples were not only Jesus' students but also His friends whom He spent most of His time with. "No longer do I call you servants...but I have called you friends" (John 15:15). Of course our Lord associated with arrogant Pharisees and sinful prostitutes and tax collectors, but these were not the friends of His inner circle. His friends were His disciples whom He carefully chose and who shared His mind and His heart.
The idea of a true friend has been clouded in some ways. Advances in communication allow us to be "friends" with hundreds if not thousands of others on our Facebook page. We are involved in so many activities and organizations, that we may have our school friends, our band friends, our volleyball friends, our work friends, and our church friends.
Certainly, we must associate with all types of people. It's how we grow socially and learn about ourselves while sharing the riches of our background with others. But we must choose our inner circles of friends very wisely. The friends with whom we spend the most time hanging out, talking with on our phones, and chatting with online should be of one mind and one heart with us. Spending time with our true friends should in no way challenge our core beliefs and moral standard of living. There should be no negative peer pressure when we are with our friends. We shouldn't have to reach out and "witness" to our true friends. They should already have the same foundational beliefs that we have; true friends should support and re-affirm in one another those core beliefs that define who we are. The same principles of friendship should apply to the person we choose to marry. We should never have to "change" the other person to make them more compatible for a happy marriage.
The one true friend who loves us above all others is our Lord Jesus Christ. If our inner circle of friends (and future spouse) is not helping us to grow closer to our one true Friend, then it might be time to start "unfriending" some people in our lives.
This is not to say we stop loving others or that we judge them; we simply must protect our souls by choosing wisely our inner circle of friends. Our very future depends on it.
"He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed" (13:20).