“Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.”
Bad company can truly corrupt good character…. Yet what makes a good character? Of course a desire to be Christ-like is a first on the list. How about surrounding yourself with like minded people? People who also desire to live lives that are willing to be held accountable by God’s Holy standards found in His word. People who know who they are in Christ, who live for Christ in all they do and live to make Christ known to others… One would suggest that these characteristics are found in a wise person.
Sadly the opposite is true as well. The writer of the proverbs tells us that walking with the wise helps us become wise but walking with fools, not only gets us in trouble, but assures us that we will start acting like fools too. This is not to say that we shouldn’t befriend people who are foolish or even never associate with them. Jesus Himself spent most of His time with people who would be deemed as ‘fools’. Rather, to not associate with them, means to not partake in their foolish behaviour, to not agree/follow their foolish lifestyles and to not heed their foolish advice. As the writer of Psalm 1 says, “Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with the mockers… they are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season.”
That being said, our lives should not be lived with a ‘superiority‘ attitude, but rather let us come humbly before all our Lord, asking for wisdom as to how we can reach the un-reachable and how we can also share the love of Christ with ‘fools’ who don’t want to know Him. Let us discern who we are spending our time with, who we are allowing to influence our lifestyles and who needs a wise friend to journey with them in life.