There is a quote from a short viral video that has been running for my mind for months now. It is by Apostle Selman, and he says, “If there are five foolish people around you, you did not count well. There are six.” The statement subtly indicates that you become unwise when you constantly hang around foolish people. I have likened this law of friendship and association to the art of boat sailing. When sailors row their boat, they learn to completely trust each other and keep their eyes on the goal. People row together when solving the problem is useful to everyone in the boat:
Photo by Vietnamese Private Tours:
What kind of people do you talk to daily?
What do you discuss when you are around your closest circle?
Are you a friend who people can meet and ask for help?
Do people turn away from you when you ask them for help?
This train of thought leads me to two stories on how you should view and determine your friendships.
THE MAN WHO RAN AWAY
The first story is about a prophet who received an assignment to preach in a great city.. His name was Jonah. However, Jonah disobeyed the call and headed to a different city. As he took a ship to head to the different city, a violent storm arose and threatened to break up the ship. The sailors were so terrified. They threw the cargo to lighten the ship and cried to their gods, but the storm persisted.
Meanwhile Jonah slept deeply and was unaware of the storm. Eventually the sailors found out he was a prophet, and they woke him up, asking for help. To the sailors’ surprise, the disobedient prophet said he was the cause of the storm and asked them to throw him to the sea.
“Pick me up and throw me into the sea.,” he replied, “and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.”– Jonah 1:12
What did his fellow travelers do? Jonah 1:15 reads: “Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm.”
How do you think those people felt when throwing off Jonah? Were they frightened? Desperate to be alive? Indecisive? Now think about how they felt after the storm stopped. Were they grateful to cut him off? Were they relieved?
If you have been in an unlucky friendship, then you can understand both situations. Those who have had toxic relationships will also understand best. These kinds of friends bring bad vibes and bring out the worst. In certain situations, you can lose yourself, your goals and what you believe in. Be careful of these types of people whether acquaintances, friends or family. Cutting them off is the only way to save your life.
Do not be a Jonah here too. Don’t force friendships and relationships down people’s throats too. Seek people with similar interests and become valuable to them. When you sense hostility or rejection, kindly maintain your distance and leave the person alone.
This leads us to the second story. And this is where it gets interesting.
THE MAN WHO FACED THE STORM
Another prophet found himself in this same situation as Jonah. A violent storm developed while he and his followers were in a boat, causing waves so high that the boat was about to be swamped, and the prophet had fallen asleep. His followers woke up the prophet, crying to him to save them. And here is what happened when he woke up. Mark 4:39 reads, “He said, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind stopped, and the lake became calm.”
Now how do you think the followers felt with this second prophet in their boat? Did they feel safe? Secure? Amazed and invincible? If you have read this story before, it concludes with them being astonished and wondering what kind of man he was. (The prophet’s name was Jesus, by the way.)
Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It’s not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything. – Muhammad Ali
THIS IS HOW FRIENDSHIPS SHOULD BE
I think this is the situation of Jesus and his followers depicts how friendships should be. People being marveled or feeling safe with each other. No backbiting or flattery. A true friend should care about you, shows concern and respects your thoughts and emotions even when they may not agree.
To know the true friends in your life, pause and ask yourself these questions:
Are there people in my life who make me feel worse when they are around?
When I am dull and lonely, do I have anybody who makes me happy or encourages me whenever I talk to them?
Who are the people I can trust with my deepest thoughts and feelings?
Have I shared my thoughts or emotions with anybody and felt safe in those moments?
Who are the people who share my values and interests?
Can I build better relationships with people who already share my values and interests?
BE A FRIEND TO OTHER PEOPLE TOO
And you must be friendly too. To find true friends, you need to be yourself and share your thoughts and feelings with others. Also remember that finding true friends takes time and effort. You may not find the perfect friend overnight. But with patience, persistence, and a positive attitude, you can overcome the challenges of finding true friends and building lasting relationships that can bring joy and support to your life.
And when seeking friends, respect other people’s boundaries. Observe and maintain different degrees of interaction at work, school, church, and life in general before taking the extra step. Not everyone can be your friend. You cannot be everybody’s friend too. Jonah was sent to preach to only one city. Jesus only chose 12 disciples.
When rocking your boat, be Jesus and throw off the Jonahs. Be wise and considerate as a friend. Sometimes the five foolish people around you may not be foolish but simply waiting for you to display your wisdom so they can be like you.
A person filled with supernatural wisdom is free from fear, confident and courageous. Long life, wealth and promotion are available to anyone who seeks wisdom. In this new year, you need wisdom more than ever. Not just wisdom for basic living, but wisdom to thrive and be ahead in the game of life.
The question is…. How can you access this superhuman wisdom?
The fastest way to access supernatural wisdom is through careful meditation and study of the Proverbs. Divinely inspired and originally written by the wisest man who ever lived; proverbs are keys in unlocking the treasures of true knowledge.
As a modern millennial, proverbs give you an understanding of divine design and destiny. They will also give you great skill to teach the immature. With divine wisdom, there is an opportunity for you to gain great wealth and glorious inheritance.
Here is the guide to accessing supernaturnatural wisdom:
My child, never drift off course from these two goals for your life: to walk in wisdom and to discover discernment.
So make wisdom your quest – search for the revelation of life’s meaning. Don’t let what I say go in one ear and out the other.
Proverbs 3:21; 4:5
1. Live in complete devotion to God
The starting point for acquiring wisdom is to be consumed with awe as you worship Jehovah God. When you live a life of abandoned love, surrendered before the awe of God, here’s what you’ll experience: Abundant life. Continual protection. And complete satisfaction.
You gain true knowledge when you live in obedient devotion to God. Begin to hate every form of evil in your life. Rather, love God, and he will grant you access to his hidden storehouse of wisdom. Treasure God’s wisdom because this is the only way to acquire it.
Fill your thoughts with God’s words until they penetrate deep into your spirit. Then, as you unwrap these words, they will impart true life and radiate health into the very core of your being.
Within your heart, you can make plans for your future, but the Lord chooses the steps you take to get there. Do not rely on your opinions. Lay aside your simple thoughts and leave your paths behind. Before you do anything, put your trust totally in God and not in yourself. Rely on God with all your heart, and become intimate with him in whatever you do.
Train your heart to listen when He speaks. And God will lead you in every decision you make. Every plan you make will succeed. However, be careful in making a rash promise before God, you may be trapped by your vow and live to regret it.
Glorify God with all your wealth, honoring him with your very best, with every increase that comes to you. Then every dimension of your life will overflow with blessings from an uncontainable source of inner joy!
2. Give respect to your parents
Respect your father and mother, for, without them, you wouldn’t even be here. And don’t neglect them when they grow old. Your father’s wise words. Your mother’s instructions. Obey them. They are very important.
Ensure your father’s heart burst with joy and your mother’s soul be filled with gladness because of you. Because a person rejects his own parents and say “What’s wrong with that?” is as bad as a murderer.
3. Yield only to positive peer pressure
Follow those who follow wisdom and stay on the right path. If you want to keep growing in wisdom, spend time with the wise. Your plans will also succeed when you first seek out good advice from multiple counsellors. So don’t charge into battle without wisdom, for wars are won by skilful strategy.
Never yield to negative pressure. Stay away from people who can’t keep their mouths shut – these blabbermouths will reveal your secrets. If you also say goodbye to troublemakers, you’ll say goodbye to quarrels, strife, tension and arguments because a troublemaker traffics in shame.
The one who always listen to me (wisdom) will live undisturbed in a heavenly peace. Free from fear, confident and courageous, you will rest unafraid and sheltered from the storms of life.
4. Stand in truth and live by integrity
To find favour and understanding with both God and man, you must let your life be shaped by integrity. Let truth always be written upon your heart. Integrity leads to success and happiness, and keeps a good man from falling.
Walk in integrity, and you will be wise and experience a fearless confidence in life.
To gain the riches of wisdom is far greater than gaining the wealth of the world. Wisdom extends to you long life in one hand and wealth and promotion in the other.
PROVERBS 3:13 & 16
5. Pay your debts
If you borrow money with interest, you’ll end up serving the interests of your creditors, for the rich rule over the poor. Pay your debts if you have the money.
6. Be kind to everyone
Speak beautiful, life-giving words to others for they will release sweetness to the souls and inner healing to their spirits. Show love because love overlooks the mistakes of others. Dwelling on the failures of others simply devastates friendships.
Use patience and kindness when you want to persuade leaders and watch them change their minds right in front of you. Your gentle wisdom will quell the strongest resistance.
Don’t reveal another person’s secret just to prove a point in an argument, or you could be accused of being a gossip and gain a reputation for being one who betrays the confidence of a friend. Don’t be one who is quick to quarrel, for an argument is hard to stop, and you’ll never know how it will end. So don’t even start that road!
Do not hold grudges against your neighbour or quarrel with people who did not wrong you in any way. Quarrelling with a neighbour is senseless. Bite your tongue, be wise and keep quiet.
Apply the same strategy with your enemies. Never gloat when your enemy meets disaster and don’t be quick to rejoice if he falls. For the Lord, who sees your heart, will be displeased with you and will pity your foe.
A man of kindness attracts favor, while a cruel man attracts nothing but trouble.
7. Pay close attention to your mental health
The wellspring of life flows from your innermost being, so pay close attention to it. Guard the affections of your heart for they affect all that you are. Avoid jealousy, and cultivate a tender, tranquil heart.
A joyful, cheerful heart brings healing to both body and soul. Maintaining a cheerful heart also puts a smile on your face, but a broken heart leads to depression. When you feel weak and depressed, everything seems to go wrong. But when you choose to be cheerful, every day will bring you more and more joy and fullness.
Wisdom will extend your life, making every year more fruitful than the one before. So it is your advantage to be wise. But to ignore the counsel of wisdom is to invite trouble for your life.
8. Speak only good and kind words
Guard your words, and you’ll guard your life. Because if you don’t control your tongue, it will ruin everything. When you are insulted, be quick to forgive and forget it.
Respond gently when you are confronted, and you’ll defuse the rage of another. Responding with sharp cutting words will only make it worse. Control your emotions too. Being angry can ruin the testimony of even the wisest of men. If you live without restraint and are unable to control your temper, you’re as helpless as a city with broken-down defences, open to attack.
Sharing words of wisdom is also satisfying to your inner being. It encourages you to know that you’ve changed someone else’s life. Your words are so powerful that they will kill or give life. Avoid dishonest speech and pretentious words. Be free from using perverse words no matter what!
9. Look straight ahead and keep moving forward
Stick to the path of truth, and your road will be safe and smooth before you.
Look straight ahead and ignore life’s distractions. Don’t allow yourself to be sidetracked for even a moment or take the detour that leads to darkness.
10. Share your sexual energy with only one woman
Share your love with your wife alone. Drink from her well of pleasure and from no other. A good wife when found is also a treasure because she is a gift of God that brings joy and pleasure to you.
Control your sexual urges and guard your hearts from lust. Reserve the pleasure of sex for you and her alone and not with another. Your sex life will be blessed as you take joy and pleasure in the wife of your youth.
When you associate with prostitutes, you waste your wealth in exchange for disgrace. Prostitutes reduce a man to poverty, and the adulteress steals your soul – she may even cost you your life. Run away from these kinds of women as fast as you can!
Everyone admires a wise, sensible person, but the treacherous walk on the path of ruin. Everything a wise and shrewd man does comes from a source of revelation-knowledge
11. Be diligent and work hard
Take care of your responsibilities and be diligent in your business, and you will have more than enough – an abundance of food, clothing and plenty for your household.
Just be who you are and work hard for a living. Be passionate and make good use of your time, wealth and energy. Work hard at your job, and you’ll have what you need. Following a get-rich-quick scheme is nothing but a fantasy. If you also spend all your time sleeping, you’ll grow poor. So grow up, sleepyhead. Don’t sleep on the job. And then there will be plenty of food on your table.
To reign in life, you have to work hard at doing what’s right. Or else, you will become the slacker who works to make someone else succeed and eventually end up with nothing. Most importantly, if you are uniquely gifted in your work, you will rise and be promoted. You won’t be held back – you’ll stand before kings!
The one who is too lazy to look for work is the same one who wastes his life away. If you keep nodding off and thinking, “I’ll do it later or say to yourself, “I will just sit back a while and take it easy,” just watch how the future unfolds! By making excuses you’ll learn what it means to go without. Poverty will pounce on you like a bandit and move in as your roommate for life. Merely talking about getting rich while living to only pursue your pleasures brings you face-to-face with poverty.
12. Be humble, open-minded and teachable
Never brag about the plans you have for tomorrow, for you don’t have a clue what tomorrow may bring to you. Let someone else honour you for your accomplishments, for self-praise is never appropriate. Humbly receiving wise correction further adorns your life with beauty and makes you a better person.
To learn the truth, you must long to be teachable. Listen, learn and accept corrections with ease. You become wiser when you easily accept instructions. Pay close attention to teachings that correct you, and open your heart to every word of instruction. Supernatural wisdom means being teachable because it is the fool who is in love with his opinion.
If you have an open mind, you will receive revelation knowledge. Accepting constructive criticism opens your heart to the path of life, making you right at home among the wise. Refusing constructive criticism shows you have no interest in improving your life, for revelation-insight only comes as you accept correction and the wisdom it brings.
When you talk too much and don’t listen, you keep stumbling into the mess you create yourself. If you remain stubborn and repeatedly refuse to accept correction, you will be broken and never recover. Poverty and disgrace come to the one who refuses to hear criticism.
13. Know your times and seasons
It is important to know the importance of the season you’re in. Don’t be wasteful and incompetent by sleeping on your day of opportunity.
Wise instruction is like a costly gem. It turns the impossible to success
14. Be generous and help others
Living your life seeking what is good for others brings untold favour. When you live to bless others, blessings will be heaped upon you. Generosity brings prosperity while withholding from charity brings poverty.
You will never go without if you give to the poor. But if you’re heartless, stingy and selfish, you invite curses upon yourself. Always be kind to the poor, and you will prosper and be blessed. Every time you give to the poor, you make a loan to the Lord. Don’t worry – you’ll be repaid in full for all the good you’ve done. This is a secret learned by generous men: extravagant giving never leads to poverty.
Is your enemy hungry? Buy him lunch. Win them over with your kindness. Your surprising generosity will awaken his conscience and God will reward you with favour. A kind, generous gift also goes a long way to soothe the anger of one who is livid. You can also gain entrance into the presence of a very important person with a generous gift.
15. Don’t seek to impress other people
Those who possess wisdom don’t feel the need to impress others with what they know. Meanwhile, the foolish ones make sure their ignorance is on display. Be part of the wise ones.
Pick a side when displaying wealth. One pretends to be rich but is poor. Another pretends to be poor but is quite rich.
16. Be wealthy
When a man is poor, even his family has no use for him. How much more will his friends avoid him – for though he begs for help. Being wealthy means having a lot of friends, but the poor can’t keep the ones they have. Build families, businesses, and communities. Wise people are builders.
Indulging in a life of luxury will never make you wealthy. To love pleasure for pleasure’s sake will introduce you to poverty.
17. Acquire your wealth through honest means
Don’t get rich on the backs of the poor, because all the wealth you gather will one day be given to those who are kind to the needy. What you obtain dishonestly may seem sweet at first, but sooner or later you’ll live to regret it. Life’s blessings drench the honest and faithful person, but punishment rains down upon the greedy and dishonest.
Gaining wealth through dishonesty is no gain at all. Because wealth quickly gained is quickly wasted – easy come, easy go! But if you gradually gain wealth, you will watch it grow.
The best way to live is with revelation-knowledge, for without it, you’ll grow impatient and run right into error.
18. Listen before you speak
There are two sides to every story. The first one to speak sounds true until you hear the other side, and they set the record straight. So learn to listen before you speak; speaking before you’ve heard the facts will bring humiliation.
There’s only one kind of person who is worse than a fool: the impetuous one who speaks without speaking first. A gullible person will believe anything, but a sensible person will confirm the facts.
19. Avoid gluttony and getting intoxicated
Don’t live in the excesses of drunkenness or gluttony, or waste your life away by partying all the time, because drunkards and gluttons sleep their lives away and end up broke! When you discover something sweet, don’t overindulge and eat more than you need, for excess in anything can make you sic of even a good thing.
A drunkard is also obnoxious, loud and argumentative. Don’t be foolish by getting intoxicated with strong drink. Don’t be drunk with wine but be known as one who enjoys the company of the lovers of God.
Do yourself a favour and love wisdom. Learn all you can, then watch your life flourish and prosper!
20. Avoid double standards
Never set high standards for someone else and then not live up to them yourself. Don’t demonstrate double standards – one for ‘them’ and one for ‘you’. God hates it. Nobody likes it.
Having double standards is hypocrisy at its worst. Always apply the right standards of measurement.
21. Mind your manners
When you’ve been invited to dine with a very important leader, consider your manners and keep in mind who you’re with. Be careful to curb your appetite and catch yourself before you fall into the trap of wanting all you see. Don’t crave their delicacies, for they may have another motive in having you sit at their table. Also be sensible when you dine with a stingy man and don’t eat more than you should.
Don’t boast in a presence of a king or promote yourself by taking a seat at the head table and pretend that you’re someone important. For it is better for the king to say to you, “Come, you should sit at the head table,” than for him to say in front of everyone, “Please get up and move – you’re sitting in the place of the prince.”
Don’t wear out your welcome by staying too long at the home of your friends, or they may get fed up with always having you there and wish you hadn’t come.
A warrior filled with wisdom ascends into the high place and releases regional breakthrough, bringing down the strongholds of the mighty
22. Develop good friendships
Sweet friendships refresh the soul and will awaken your soul with joy, for good friends are like the anointing oil that yields the fragrant incense of God’s presence. So never give up on a friend – for in the day of your brokenness you won’t have to run to a relative for help. A friend nearby is better than a relative far away.
23. Speak truthfully and avoid flattery
Correct people with constructive criticism, in the end he will appreciate it more than flattery. It’s better to be corrected openly if it stems from hidden love. You can trust a friend who wounds with his honesty, but your enemy’s pretended flattery comes from insincerity.
Flattery is often used as a trap to hide ulterior motives and take advantage of you. Hatred is the root of slander and insecurity the root of flattery.
Yeah. That’s all. Here is a recap of the guide in accessing supernatural wisdom:
Live in complete devotion to God
Give respect to your parents
Yield only to positive peer pressure
Stand in truth and live by integrity
Pay your debts
Be kind to everyone
Pay close attention to your mental health
Speak only good and kind words
Look straight ahead and keep moving forward
Share your sexual energy with only one woman
Be diligent and work hard
Be humble, open-minded and teachable
Know your times and seasons
Be generous and help others
Don’t seek to impress others
Acquire your wealth through honest means
Listen before you speak
Avoid gluttony and getting intoxicated
Avoid double standards
Mind your manners
Develop good friendships
Speak truthfully and avoid flattery
Follow these steps and you and I are assured of supernatural wisdom and its immense benefits. Cheers!
How do you know the right type of friends in your life? Sometimes you might wonder if you can truly live alone without the help of friends. And there are other days you wonder if you can really survive without a particular friend in your life. There is a proverb that says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. And if you want to go far, go with people.“
I love this saying because it should resonate with every youthful ambitious person right now, especially you. You are young, vibrant and energetic. However, there is a great chance you will burn out when it’s finally time to enjoy the fruits of your passions, talents and abilities. You need the support you can before the time comes. That’s why you need to start selecting the right kind of friends in your life right now.
Here is the best part. This article will show the eight types of friends you must add to your inner circle.
The type of friends you had when growing up
When you were small and younger, the environment chose friends for you. These friends came in the form of classmates, neighbours, seat-mates in buses and age mates from extended family.
Now you are older. The power is in your hands.
The type of friends you should meet now
You are more responsible for your life now. And you have the ability to choose people that have the right to your friendship. These friends should be as close as a sibling. They should be here to caution and celebrate you in your closest moments. These set of people will constitute your inner circle. Have you seen how crucial these kinds of friendship means to your life and wellbeing?
Now, here are the eight types of friends you need in life right now:
1. Creative Friends
These are the set of friends who will bring variety and adventure into your life. With their unique mindset, they open you to different perspectives and ways of approaching situations and challenges in life.
You need these type of friends to adopt an “out-of-the-box” mentality, and they will never allow you to stay stagnant in life for a long time.
Loyalty always comes with trust and complete allegiance. A loyal friend will always defend you both in your presence and absence. These set of friends are wiling to push and showcase your name and brand behind closed doors and on the rooftops.
If you already have a loyal friend, please hold them tight and appreciate them as often as possible. And if you don’t have any yet, look for trust-worthy acquaintances and make them your friend.
3. Friends who share your vision and purpose
There will come a time when your vision and purpose becomes bigger than you. Or a time when you feel discouraged and lost. That’s not the time to give up. During this phase, simply search your inner circle for friends who share your vision and purpose.
This kind of friends will act as accountability partners and encourage you in the long run. They offer good advice and insights on what to do, how to do and when to do it.
To find this type of friends, you have to constantly share your vision and purpose through your stories and talents. Constantly listen and observe people interested in your craft. Especially those you admire. Then make them your friend.
When adding friends who share your vision; also search for people with talents that complement yours. You cannot do it all. You need these set of friends to amplify your passions and abilities. They will bring out the best in you at every opportunity.
To find this type of friends, you have to be out-going and visible. Go to events that match your current interests and success path. Strive to meet those on the other side of these gatherings. Invite them to your inner circle and then make them your friend.
You are halfway through the list. Here are the other four types of friends you must add to your inner circle right now:
5. Wise and Intelligent Friends
A wise and intelligent friend tells you the truth. They are highly knowledgeable and open-minded. This type of friend will weigh the pros and cons before allowing you to make an important decision. They will tell you to act both on feelings and logic. Personally, this category of friendship is one of the best experiences you can have.
To find these set of friends, you have to go the extra mile. Ask questions and listen critically during your quest in finding them. This is because some foolish people tend to disguise as wise ones at the beginning.
6. Friends with Influence
On your way to the top, you will need advocates who will promote your name, brand and reputation in higher places. These are the people of influence. These set of friends are often mentors and senior colleagues in your chosen interests. They can also be your peers who already have a huge following in your fields.
To befriend this type of friend, be the first to offer a helping hand. Always find a way to add value to them. Give honest compliments and they will be sure to notice you and make you their friend.
7. Friends with Integrity
People of integrity will arguably be the rarest in your group because there is often a blurred line between loyalty and integrity in friendships. These set of friends have a higher form of loyalty because they are not loyal to you, but to a specific standard and set of principles. They will be your moral compass with their honest words and actions.
To have this kind of friend, check track-records and ask people around them. Then make them your friend.
8. Friends of Faith
Faith is the most powerful force in the universe and it’s safe to say these set of friends are the most powerful in your inner circle. They pray with you and share your beliefs. They have a strong (or at least better) understanding of divine principles and how the universe operates. A remarkable trait in them is their foresight and unwavering belief that things will only keep getting better,
You will find these set of people in close-knit gatherings and fellowships. Make them your friends and hold them closest in your inner circle.
P.S: People of faith are different from religious people.
How to Develop your Inner Circle with these Types of Friends
Start developing and expanding your inner circle by selecting the right type of friends. And if you don’t have good friends to choose from; here is a great poem for you:
“I went out to find a friend. I could find no one there. Then I went out to be a friend, and friends were everywhere.”
To meet a good friend, you must be a great friend too. Be a person of value. Always find a way to contribute to your friendships. When you go out to be a good friend, you will attract the good type of friends.