Beware of Your Friends
"A man’s foes shall be they of his own household." -- Matt. 10:36
This applies not only in the family household, but in the household of one’s friends. In the household of our friends we often encounter our most dangerous foes.
Our enemies can do us little harm, compared with that which our friends may do us. The world discredits what is said and done against us by those who are known to be our enemies. Besides, being warned against them, we are on our guard.
Who makes a man a drunkard? Not his enemies, but his friends. It is not his enemy, but his friend, who slaps him on the back and says, "Come, let’s have a drink together; one more will not hurt you; come on, be a good sport just for this once."
Who is it that spoils the young man with flattery? His enemies? No. That remains for his friends to do. His enemies may attack him, but that only spurs him on to greater effort, while the injudicious praise of his friends tempts him to relax his efforts and rest on his oars. The false flattery of friends has ruined many a young man.
Beware of your friends. However good their intentions, they may unwittingly do you untold harm. They may let their friendly sympathy run away with them, and imagine they are doing you a kindness when they are doing the worst thing that could be done for you. They may be so prejudiced in your favour as to render them incompetent of giving you candid and honest judgment concerning matters of vital interest to your welfare. As to those friends who would lead you astray, better not to include them at all in the household of your friends.