Be A Friend

Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
Stop judging and you will not be judged.
Stop condemning and you will not be condemned.
Forgive and you will be forgiven.

Luke 6:36-37

Some weeks ago, I shared fond memories of my first high school homeroom teacher. Sister Imelda was actually the first of my many high school teachers who left an impression upon me. Though sister was a pleasant person to be around, she made her greatest impact during religion class.

It was during one of those classes that Sister Imelda remarked that we could get a good picture of ourselves by looking at our friends. Though Sister’s observation seems not always to hold true, there is wisdom to be found in what she said. During my teaching career, I often observed good kids being conned by the allure unsavory acquaintances. Giving in to behaviors that seemed “not so bad” led many unwary children down the frightening path to big trouble. The good news is that I also witnessed the opposite phenomenon. Placing troubled children in good company resulted in many unexpected liaisons which widened the horizons of all concerned. These amazing friendships changed everything for the children involved.

Today, you and I walk in the company of many friends, both expected and otherwise. Sometimes, we bring out the best in one another. Sometimes, not so much. I think Sister Imelda’s point was that we can do something about those “not so much” scenarios. If we don’t like what we see, it’s up to us to say or do something to improve things. Maybe our own good example will be enough.

Thank you, God, for the gift of our friends. Help us to bring out the best in one another as best we can.

©2016 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

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