Proverbs 19:4 — Wealth attracts many friends, but even the closest friend of the poor person deserts them (NIV).
Don’t surround yourself with takers. There will be certain people who come into your life for the sole purpose of getting something from you. They will invest nothing but want to benefit from everything. Takers will be around only as long as your resources are plentiful, but as soon as you appear to have nothing more to offer them, they will desert you.
These “friends” will not only take of your finances. They often take advantage of your relationships, job position, knowledge, and anything else that seems valuable. The sad reality is you cannot give to takers enough to change them. Giving to them, or allowing them to take from you, just feeds their disease.
They also have a way of making you feel bad about yourself if you don’t give to them. Many takers are master manipulators. Keep Proverbs 19:6 in mind: “Many curry favor with a ruler, and everyone is the friend of one who gives gifts” (NIV). As soon as you run out of gifts, takers will bail. I pray God brings you friends who give more than they take.
You also need friends who will hold you accountable. Proverbs 27:6 says, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful” (KJV). Sometimes it’s necessary for someone to tell you hard truths about yourself. If your character gets out of line, you need people in your life who don’t mince words. Hearing the truth may hurt your feelings initially, but wounds heal if they are treated properly.
If you surround yourself with people who are constantly kissing up to you, you will have a warped view of yourself. The kisses of an enemy are deceitful. Some people we perceive to be friends are really enemies.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not telling you to avoid encouragers, but there is a difference between being encouraged and having your ego stroked. Every relationship needs balance. I encourage you to set these standards and stand by them.
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