He who walks with wise men will be wise but the companion of fools will suffer harm. Proverbs 13:20
I know we are called to be a light to this dark world but in order to maintain our brightness we would do well to heed the counsel of this verse. Walking with wise men – that doesn’t mean we never sit by a fool at our kid’s soccer game! (Considering the behavior of most parents at kids’ sports events…we would likely be in solitary confinement if that’s what this verse intended!) Rather I believe it is calling us to choose carefully who we “do life with”. Who are our close companions, whose company do we prefer, which people are the ones we rely on and turn to in times of need. It is of vital importance who those people are, that they be wise, or at least learning to be wise. Because hanging out with fools brings destruction – the phrase “will suffer harm” means to become evil, to be made worse, suddenly.
May God protect us from wanting to be with those who don’t fear the Lord. Of course we should pray for them, share Christ with them, and show them love but there is inevitable inherent danger when we choose these kinds of folks to be our close friends. We can tell ourselves as many times as we want to that we are going to influence them for good, that we won’t wind up like them, that these folks are more fun than other options. But mark my word – actually mark HIS Word, we will suffer harm. And it will come without warning.
I used to work for Truett Cathy at the corporate offices of Chick-fil-A and one of my many perks was to hear his homespun wisdom on a regular basis. My most favorite of his saying was “You’ll be the same person a year from now as you are today except for the books you read and the people you associate yourself with. Friends will determine the quality and direction of your life. Choose wisely.”
Amen, Truett, Amen.
As we continue in our journey to walk wise, and put our puzzle together to the Glory of God, are there some companions we need to back away from in order to avoid suffering harm? Ask God to reveal His desires for us.
Oh, and let’s also pray fervently that we will be wise companions in the lives of those around us!