Secret 4

Choose Your Friends Wisely

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE TEACH? “He that is walking with wise persons will become wise.”​—Proverbs 13:20.

WHAT IS THE CHALLENGE? Our friends will either add to our contentment or undermine it. Their attitudes and conversations are bound to affect our outlook on life.​—1 Corinthians 15:33.

Consider, for example, the Bible account of 12 men who returned from an expedition into Canaan. The majority of them “kept on bringing forth to the sons of Israel a bad report of the land that they had spied out.” Even so, two of the men spoke positively about Canaan, calling it “a very, very good land.” But the negative attitude of the ten spies spread among the people. “All the assembly raised their voice,” the account states, “and all the sons of Israel began to murmur.”​—Numbers 13:30–14:9.

Likewise today, many people “are murmurers, complainers about their lot in life.” (Jude 16) It is difficult to remain content in the company of friends who are never satisfied.

WHAT CAN YOU DO? Analyze the conversations you have with your friends. Do your friends often boast about the things they own, or do they constantly complain about what they do not have? And what kind of friend are you to them? Do you strive to make your friends envy you, or do you encourage them to be content with what they have?

Consider the example set by David, who was to become king, and Jonathan, the son of King Saul. David had been living as a fugitive in the wilderness. King Saul felt threatened by David and wanted him dead. Although Jonathan would normally have been next in line for the kingship, he had become one of David’s close friends. Jonathan recognized that God had appointed David to be the next king and was content to support his friend.​—1 Samuel 19:1, 2; 20:30-33; 23:14-18.

You need friends like that, ones who strive to be content and who have your best interests at heart. (Proverbs 17:17) Of course, to attract friends of that sort, you need to display those same qualities yourself.​—Philippians 2:3, 4.

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Do your friends add to your contentment or undermine it?