He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed. Proverbs 13:20 (KJV).
Friends and Associates! Our lives will not be complete without having such wonderful people around us. They add a lot of great benefits to our lives. They can act as great confidants, resources, motivators, comfort, etc.
However, there is a catch to experiencing all the wonderful benefits mentioned above in a friend or associate, and even more. This is if they have good intentions towards those they are associated with, and a heart yielded to God. The Bible very well tells us that we shall know them by their fruits (Matthew 7:16-20).
Therefore, it behooves us to choose our friends and associates wisely. The reason is that at some point in our lives, whether knowingly or unknowingly we will be affected by these people. The world calls this type of behavior peer pressure or influence.
Our associations can have a powerful influence on our lives. They can positively shape our lives or fragment our lives in a very negative way. Here are a few words or saying popularly associated with friendships and companionship –
‘Show me your friend and I will tell you who you are.’
‘Guilty by association.’
‘Birds of one feather flock together.’
‘A friend sticks closer than a brother.’
‘A friend in need is a friend indeed.’
‘A friend loves at all times.’
Lastly, let us not forget our Bible verse for today, which captures the essence of our discussion beautifully. (Please refer to the Bible verse of the day at the top of the page). The Book of Proverbs is a great resource in the lessons of Wisdom, which nobody should ignore. Most of the sayings listed above were taken from the Proverbs of Solomon.
Therefore, going by our Bible verse of the day, there are two sides of the coin in respect to our discussion. These are the gains we accrue unto ourselves either way. The one way refers to what we gain when we keep companions, friends, or associations with the wise. We become wise also and add positively to our lives. On the other hand, when our companionship is in the way of foolish people, we become foolish and pay dearly because of such association.
So, how can we determine and choose our friends and associates wisely? This is a very crucial question that nobody can truly give an accurate answer only God. That is why we have the Bible — the word of God as our reference point.
Having the word of God as our reference would mean that we must associate ourselves with the Word of God and all that it teaches. This will bring us closer to God and build us up in the values God has given to us. Psalms 119: 14 &105; 2 Timothy 2 :15; 2 TIMOTHY 3:14-17; James 1:22; Proverbs 3: 1-2; Joshua 1: 8.
Also, as we build ourselves up in God’s word and allow the Holy Spirit to lead, direct, teach and mould us to reflect God in our lives, we will learn to look out for what we want in a friend or associate.
Having the right kind of friends and associates would require that we allow ourselves to first be associated with God our Heavenly Father, His character, mannerisms, and values as presented in His word. Then we will have a basis for being able to choose well.
Ebimobo W. Obasi
PLEASE PRAY ALONG:
A Prayer for Wise Community.
FATHER GOD, I want to be part of a community. Please help me to approach my relationships with a willingness to learn and to listen. Teach me how to choose my friends and associates wisely. Allow me to develop relationships that draw me closer to You. In JESUS MIGHTY NAME AMEN.