The Brotherhood of the Second Cross was established on Father’s Day 2005 where 160 men stood before their wives and children to pledge themselves to purity, self-sacrifice, loyalty, and excellence. Today, hundreds more have joined the commitment.
Over the last few weeks, we’ve watched the very public demise of another professional football player. Somehow, in spite of a multi-million dollar contract and access to some of the finest leaders in both the college and NFL ranks (both on and off the field), he couldn’t extricate himself from the kind of relationships that marked his troubled youth. So now he is accused of at least one act of murder and it seems new revelations float to the surface on a daily basis.
Avoidable? You bet.
You see, the friends one chooses in life always end up shaping the horizon ahead. The book of Proverbs has much to say about making good choices in companions. Get the wrong friends and you’ll end up in the wrong place.
One thing we often forget is that every friendship comes with a destination. We may make a connection for the short-term benefit. We work together, play on the same ball team, have classes together, or get pushed together by some other moment in life. Or we make a friend who can help us climb life’s ladder or invest in our plans. And when we begin, we aren’t usually thinking about the end.
My wife and I often used a unique standard when evaluating our sons’ friendships. We would tell our boys that we’ll know if that’s a good friend by asking, “Do I like you when you are with him?” In fact, we use the same question to evaluate their dating lives. “Are you a better you when you’re with that person?”
Might not be a bad question for middle-aged guys to ask themselves either. Are you the guy you want to be when you ware with that person? If you have to be someone else or do a few things that don’t truly reflect your character, then that relationship isn;t taking you where you want to go.
Every friendship comes with a path. It might be good to look at the path, pay attention to the road signs you’re seeing, and be more diligent in determining who you should be spending time with. As the young football player helps prove, there’s no amount of money or fame that can pull you back from the cliff your friends are jumping off.