Abundant Living Vol. VIII, Issue 41

“When you hang out with good people good things are gonna happen. When you hang out with bad people bad things are gonna happen.” – Robert Cook

This is nothing new, of course. Didn’t our mama’s warn us over and over about running around with the wrong crowd? Even so I’m sorry to say I’ve been guilty from time to time and generally speaking the outcome was never very good. One time in particular occurred when I was in college and working a part time job. My employer hired a lot of part time college kids like myself and most of the time we were pretty compatible. But once there was this new guy I had tried to befriend who convinced me he knew a good burger joint down the road, so we piled in his car to go to lunch. Something didn’t feel quite right, but I went anyway. Next thing I knew we were in a bar ordering beers. So when we returned to work not only were we late but we had been drinking. Both of us could have and should have been fired, but for whatever reason our supervisor chose to look the other way. I knew, though, it was the wrong thing to do and quickly withdrew from hanging out with the guy. Sooner or later bad things were going to happen.

Robert Cook knows all about the advantages of hanging out with good people versus the consequences of hanging out with bad people. He’s had plenty of experiences on both sides; for it was hanging out with bad people that once led him to a life of drug addiction, homelessness, and crime that resulted in spending time in prison. But then he met some good people and started hanging out with them, and that’s what turned his life around leading him into recovery and re-entry into a stable and productive life where he spends much of his spare time today volunteering in his church and reaching out to others who are bumping along rock bottom as he once did. Robert and I met in a Bible study group where he is now a devoted participant and readily shares his life story along with a whole repertoire of folksy wisdom like the brilliant quote mentioned above.

“When you hang out with good people good things are gonna happen.” We know this all too well having been blessed with a huge circle of wonderful friends who in all sorts of varied ways devote themselves to making a difference in the lives of others. If you hang out with folks like these, as Robert Cook says, good things are gonna happen.

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