You’re not a kid anymore. And your life is like an all-school rummage sale. Just like stuff you lived with for so long—toys, clothes, games, vacation souvenirs, whatever—old friends go on the table cheap. A few are hard to part with, but you figure you can buy better stuff from another table.
Some friends, after all, don’t fit anymore. They’ve shrunk to gossiping and nastiness, and you’ve outgrown that. Others resemble clothes you never wear—nothing wrong with them but your tastes have changed. A few friends, like most garage sale items, are boring and broken—like childhood buddies you played Barbies or baseball with who now toy with cigarettes and beer, or worse.
At a rummage sale it’s not always easy to know what to sell and what to keep—or, if you’re buying, what’s a bargain and what’s a rip-off. It’s the same way when you’re shopping for friends.
Read Philippians 2:19–24
What kind of friends should you hunt for?
Paul didn’t make the Christians in the city of Philippi go garage-sale shopping for a high-quality friend. He crated up his buddy Timothy and shipped him off. Well, he probably didn’t put Tim in a box. But he did want to send his friend Timothy to meet his great friends in Philippi.
Timothy was a rare friend. While everyone else was worried only about their own lives and interests, what mattered most to Timothy was doing what Christ wanted.
You don’t need friends who make evil attractive to you—friends who like you when you do wrong. You don’t need people who tell you that you’re comical when you drink or that you look grown-up when you have a joint hanging off your lip. You want friends who are totally devoted to God and who totally want you close to him.
The nearer you get to being an adult the less your new friends will have to do with where you live or a school seating chart—and more to do with interests you share, like sports, music, clothes, school subjects, or hobbies. When you go shopping for friends, the ones who are interested in God are your best buy.
“For everyone looks out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.“
Excerpt from Total Devotion by Kevin Johnson