Have you ever heard your parents tell you not to hang out with or associate with people they didn’t really like? Yes. And as a parent, you’ve probably strategically not had a playdate with certain friends of your kids, because of the way it affects your kids. It just happens.
Solomon makes a similar statement in Proverbs 13:20: Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
As followers of Jesus, one of our goals is to “hang” with other believers so that we might be mutually encouraged, strengthened and encouraged in our walk (see Romans 1:12). Certainly, you shouldn’t feel guilty for wanting to be around Christians – particularly on Sundays… I’m a Pastor, so trust me, we really love it when you show up!
But we’re also called to be salt and light in the world, not hidden (see Matthew 5:13-16). Salt is only as good as the amount you’re using, and a handy flashlight does little good in a well-lit room. You just can’t be a light to the world sitting and watching House Hunters.
You understand the tension here.
So if we walk with the wise and become wise, and by contrast, suffer harm becoming friends of fools, what are we to do? I can think a couple of things:
- Jesus was a friend (companion) of sinners, yet did not sin. (see Matthew 9:10-13)
- You’re not Jesus.
- Remind yourself who you’re hanging out with and why.
Are you with a people to be influenced or to influence? I’m in no way saying you shouldn’t hang out with the very people who need Jesus, I’m saying who are you allowing to influence you? That’s kind the point Solomon was making – whoever you regularly hang with, it will influence you for good and for ill.
So, who do you hang with? It will be one of two people: wise or unwise.
Whoever your regular companions are will inevitably influence you – for good or for ill. (& you them). (see Prov13:20) #reclaimthemorning