“He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” – Proverbs 13:20 KJV
As children, we choose friends willing to play with us during recess, willing to show kindness through a smile, share their lunch with us or who share common interests as us. However, as we grow, we must be more selective in our friendships.
The Bible tells us that we are blessed when we surround ourselves with the right kind of people. Our friendships can be a blessing or a hindrance.
Friends are a blessing when they encourage us and demonstrate to us how to be wiser and follow God’s commands. A wise friend will always instill in his friends a desire to follow the way of wisdom but a foolish friend… Our key verse tells us that the one who walks with wise men will also be wise. How amazing that Christ-like behaviors of friends can overflow to us!
On the contrary, when we choose to walk among men with no regard for God or His ways, we position ourselves in the presence of fools and that will surely lead to destruction. In Psalms 1:1, the psalmist David said:
” How happy is the one who does not
walk in the advice of the wicked
or stand in the pathway with sinners
or sit in the company of mockers!” (CSB)
The King James translation called the wicked, “ungodly” people. Those are the people who walk without God. Their behaviors reflect their lack of trust, reverence, and fear of God. Notice how Psalms 1:1 describes a sort of progression that leads to destruction should we choose friends that are ungodly.
First, the one who makes friends with an ungodly man (or woman) takes advice from him. This advice is foolish and lacks understanding from God. The wicked cannot give advice to draw us closer to God or his ways but rather share their foolish ways with us and encourage us in that same direction. Next, we begin to have conversations with the ungodly or the wicked on a regular basis and take advice from them. We also begin to follow their ways and take on the same path as they do: following in their footsteps by “[standing] in the pathway with sinners”.
And ultimately, this leads to sitting in their company. This means that not only have we forsaken what is right but we have made the ungodly our life companions. Oh, how dangerous it is to choose the wrong friends!
Who we invite in our lives is a serious matter. Friends have much influence on us. Some friends can be so close to us that they become like family. Indeed, ” There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24b ESV). However, we should avoid at all cost making friends with a foolish person it is difficult to bring a fool out of his foolishness. (see Proverbs 27:22).
We must also remember that a godly friend is also someone willing to cover the transgressions of his friends because such a person seeks love. On the other hand, the wrong kind of friend will continue to make matters worst (Proverbs 17:9). In addition, a godly friend is precious in times of battle: “though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. ” (Ecclesiastes 4:12a)
Friend, whom we choose to walk with, can have a significant impact on our lives either for good or for evil. It is the difference between the pathway to Jesus and the pathway to destruction. Godly and wise friends point us back to Jesus but the ungodly separate us from our Savior. Let’s be wiser in our choice of friends and more importantly let’s be sure to be that godly friend who walks in wisdom and draws others to Christ rather than away from Him.
Dear God, I know that you want me to have an abundant life and you desire that I surround myself with the right people. Help me to discern those who are beneficial for me from those who seek my destruction knowingly or unknowingly. Teach me not only how to walk with godly men and women but also to be such a person. I do not want to walk among the wicked nor follow in their ways. And place more friends that you approve of in my life so I can be just as wise as they are. In Jesus’ name, Amen.