But I digress.
As a freshman in high school, my Uncle (who was a Pastor at the time) asked me to contribute to some magazine distributed to Southern Baptist teenagers. My topic was, "How should I choose friends?" I had about 200 words to respond.
I remembered thinking it should be easy. I've always been a girl who's fallen in with the "good crowd." And even on the occasion that I hung out with a few edgier friends, I somehow became the token good girl in the group. Like a mascot or something.
So I sat down to write my short article. Since it was for a religious publication, I figured I should make it Biblically based. I started off talking about how we should choose friends the way Jesus chose disciples. But then it occurred to me that Jesus wasn't exactly picking people for sleepovers and movie dates. He was picking disciples. People who would carry on his work after He was gone. Plus, He'd picked Judas. And surely He knew Judas would ultimately betray Him.
And then there's the pesky fact that Jesus often hung out with "sinners." Adulterers, tax collectors, and so on.
Basically, I wound up writing myself in a circle, saying something like, "Choose like-minded friends, but don't be afraid to hang out with people who aren't like-minded. Just make sure you're influencing them, not the other way around."
It was about 12 years ago when I attempted that article. Since that time, I've gone through 4 or 5 best friends. I've been betrayed and back stabbed. And I have betrayed and back stabbed.
Around age 20, I was finally blessed with my first close, Christian girl friend. I thought, "This is it. This is the friendship I'll have for the rest of my life." Five years later, even though we were both Christians, even though we both desired to live lives that honored God, we wound up in a nasty spat and our friendship disintegrated within an hour.
So I'm really not the best person to offer advice on friendship. (Boy advice I'm qualified to offer - my husband rocks!) But it occurred to me the other day that maybe there really isn't a proper way to pick who your friends are. Maybe the best way to do it is just love on the people God puts in your path, be the best friend to them that you know how to be, and not worry so much about if you have an appropriate balance of Christian and non-Christian friends.
But I'm still figuring all this out. What do you guys think?