“The one who walks with the wise will become wise, but a companion of fools will suffer harm.”
Proverbs 13:20 (HCSB)
Choose wisely. You’ll become like who you spend time with. It’s easier for someone to pull you down than for you to pull someone up.
Did you hear this advice from your parents when you were a kid? I’ve heard it AND I’ve also said it to my own daughter. While it’s not always the advice we want to hear, especially when we so desperately want to be a part of the “in” crowd, it comes straight from the lips of Solomon. Proverbs 13:20 says it plainly: hang out with the wise and you will be wise; linger with fools and you will find trouble.
It is so important to find friends who share your same aesthetic. If the people you associate with don’t edify you, encourage you and nudge you to be your best, they will cause you harm. This harm can be emotional – sadness and disappointment when they let you down or speak cruelly. It can be physical, like punishment for wrong behavior even if you didn’t actually participate because of guilt by association. Or it can be spiritual – foolish friends can pull you away from the things of God. 1 Corinthians 15:33 tells us, “Bad company corrupts good character.”
On the other hand, if you search for friends who love God as much as or more than you do, you can count on those friendships providing safety and wisdom. I’ve been blessed by wise and godly women who have brought me great joy. I appreciate the way they seek God in their lives and encourage me to do the same. I can always count on them to pray for me. These ladies truly live what they “preach.”
I’m grateful to my longtime college friend Tracie, my dear friends Angela and Donna, and my beloved mother-in-law Barbara for speaking wisdom into my life. They are my Proverbs 31:26 friends.
If you have wise friends, be thankful! If you need a wise friend, pray for the Lord to provide one. We all need help along this journey of life, so seek out and walk with the wise.