Proverbs 13:20, “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.”
This proverb has to be one of my all time favorites. I remember reading this when I first got saved and it was like a huge spot light just turned on and I could see everything so clearly. I grew up in the suburbs of Fort Wayne Indiana, a city with about 300,000 people. My parents had both been from the Chicagoland area but choose to move to the “Fort” for a better place for their family and job.
They literally gave me every good thing a child could ever want. I always had new clothes, great home cooked meals, and was raised in a God-fearing environment On top of all the essentials, my parents choose to live in a neighborhood where we had three outdoor swimming pools, a clubhouse with racquetball courts and pool tables. Plus, the neighborhood had a golf course and two outdoor tennis and basketball courts. Sidewalks ran for miles safely behind our home so I could literally ride my bike to my friend’s house, then to the basketball court, to the pools, and then relax in the clubhouse without even crossing one street!
You would think that all the great things my parents provided for me would have guaranteed my success. However, there was one thing that they couldn’t provide that I had to choose myself- my friends. By the time I was in 5th grade I had chosen the wrong friends and the rest is history. Long story short, by the time I was 18 years old I had been kicked out school over 5x times, I was a high school drop out, drug dealer, arrested 8x, and had already been locked up for over 3 months in juvenile facilities.
I look back and wish I would’ve listened to Solomon and choose wise friends and instead of foolish ones. I suffered so many needless hardships and pain. Some of the scars I still have to this day to remind me of those terrible times. But the story doesn’t end there, now because of those life lessons I have for the last eighteen years made the right friends and because of walking with them and sharing life together I have grown wise everyday.
What kind of friends do you have?
- Ask God to show you the kind of friends you have.
- Remove any foolish friends you may have from influencing your life (you can still stay friends with them for the sake of preaching to them, but you don’t have to always be around them or follow their ways).
- Be a wise person so that when people hang out with you, they grow in wisdom.