Do you remember the simpler days of your childhood? Remember those long summer days where playtime went late into the evening? Whether you lived in the country or a dense neighborhood, there was most likely someone to hang out with. And if not, we just made a friend up! Sometimes, those made up friends were better friends than our real friends, right?
As we grew and started school, we came into contact with all kinds of children. Some we would become really good friends with and some we would just kind of know. Others, if we are being honest, we would just avoid.
Then high school or college came and we learned the real meaning of peer pressure. We either were ruled by it or totally resisted it. I wonder, are you still friends with the one you labeled your “very best friend in the world”? I know a few people who have been able to maintain real, lifelong relationships with friends, but a lot of us don’t.
I do, however, have some really great memories of some old friends, and I hope their life turned out great, but I really don’t see them anymore. In fact, if it wasn’t for Facebook, I wouldn’t have a clue what happened to some of them. Now, I have some really good friends that became friends of mine when we all worked together, and yet, we don’t see each other day-to-day either.
So who do I surround myself with these days? Well, today it is God, my immediate family, and my church family – in that order. Am I isolating myself? No, not at all. The truth is you and I may have 600 friends on Facebook, but we can’t really have true, close, honest friendships with all those people.
According to the Bible, those who surround us, interacting with us day-to-day, should have certain qualifications. What? You mean Jesus wants to pick my friends? No, He wants YOU to pick your friends, but He hopes they will be WISE friends.
Aren’t we supposed to be salt and light? Yes, but we should always be seeking wisdom so that we can represent Christ to the best of our ability. We can’t do that if we are unwise or allow the unwise to influence us. The Bible states:
Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm. Prov. 13:20 NIV
That is just one of hundreds of verses in the Bible that refers to wisdom.
Now, when we talk about seeking wisdom among peers, I can’t help but think about Job. You remember Job – a godly man who lost family, wealth, and health all at once. Remember those “friends” who sat down around him as he mourned. Instead of helping the situation, they only inflicted more pain by sharing their “wisdom” with Job on how he was a sinner and must have played a role in his current situation. And I love this response from Job:
“You people really know everything, don’t you? And when you die, wisdom will die with you! Well, I know a few things myself—and you’re no better than I am. Who doesn’t know these things you’ve been saying?” Job 12: 1-3 NLT
That just makes me giggle! What is Job saying? He’s basically saying: “With friends like you, who needs an enemy!”
Hopefully, you and I have better friends. Friends we can really count on. Friends who are there exactly when we need them. Friends who speak wisdom into our life!
Here are verses from Proverbs written by Solomon, the wisest man in the Bible, on how important wisdom is:
Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice. Prov. 13:10
How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver! Prov. 16:16
A discerning person keeps wisdom in view, but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth. Prov. 17:24
Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe. Prov. 28:26
Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction. Prov. 29:18
Having considered these scriptures, do your friends bring out the best in you? Are they wisdom seekers themselves? Today, take inventory of those in your life and decide if each person brings wisdom to your life or just the opposite. Hopefully you are surrounded by wisdom, if not, it may be time to make some new friends!!
Who is the wisest person you know, and what is the best piece of advice he/she has given you?
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Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.