“Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm” (Proverbs 13:20 ESV).
I remember when I made a commitment to Jesus during my Junior year of High School. There were people that I hung out with at the time who were not the best of influences. My new life in Christ was at odds with the attitudes and behaviors that had previously defined me.
It was clear to me that I needed to make some changes. I changed the way I spoke. I could have cursed the wallpaper off of the walls before, but I was much more careful about the words that came out of my mouth. I switched from Heavy Metal music to that of a more wholesome variety; I went from Judas Priest to Keith Green overnight. I know, right?!?
The most difficult change that I made, however, was my choice of friends. I had to explain to my friends that I couldn’t spend time with them anymore because I was a new person in Christ. I imagine we would have drifted apart in a short while anyway, because of the other changes. But I needed a clean break, even if it was painful. While things were tense for a little while, I think a few of them grew to respect me for working to conform my actual lifestyle to the one I professed.
I wrote recently about a friend who got into trouble with drugs. The first two times he got out of jail he chose to get back in with the same crowd. That, of course, led to getting back in the same old trouble. The last time he got out he changed his friends. He found friends in the program who were committed to a clean and sober lifestyle. That decision has proved to keep him clean for three years this New Year’s.
We can’t take ourselves out of the world. We are here to spread Christ’s gift to a world that desperately needs Him. But we need to be careful about our choice of friends. Walk with the wise to become wise.
Blessings on your day!