Today’s Scripture: Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish. PsalmĀ 1:1-6

Tell me what company you keep, and I’ll tell you what you are. -Cervantes

Have you ever noticed people with the same interests, goals, and hobbies stick together? As a fisherman, I speak from experience. We have to stick together. Fishermen usually carry a distinct “fish” smell, which few people can tolerate. But my fishing partners have been around the smell of fish for so long it doesn’t bother them anymore.

A true friend is like a good fishing partner-he respects you in spite of your shortcomings because you share things in common. Will he always ignore your weaknesses? Not necessarily; he just chooses not to allow them to hinder the relationship. He’s been around you so long they don’t bother him anymore. His kindness leaves a sweet aroma.

Friends in the “wrong crowd” may also enjoy our hobbies and share our interests, but insist on doing these things their own way. They’re willing to break or twist the rules to get what they want or join others who are doing this. Rather than extending their friendship, they will tolerate us only as long as we join them in their sin. Their selfishness leaves a horrid odor.

Which friend are you? To find out, decide for yourself who you value more: others or self? Now, decide whose opinion you value more: the opinion of people or God’s opinion? If you want a true friend, first be one, then stick with others who will be true to you.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder