Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Proverbs 13:20 The company you keep

“Choose good friends.” This is one of the sayings I have posted in my classroom. Since I’m usually teaching fifth graders who will be heading to middle school, I try to impress upon my students how important it is that they choose friends wisely. Studies have shown that the choice of friends between 8th grade and high school can be a huge factor in determining the way a teen will go. So I feel compelled to exhort my students to be especially careful with their associations in middle school. Not only because they should surround themselves with people who will encourage them and lift them up, but because they will be known by the company they keep.

When I was in high school we had some social clubs (like fraternities and sororities), and there was one club, the Nobles, that had all of the school “bad boys” in it. They were the jocks who were just a bit edgy and intimidating. So, we were all so surprised when the sweetest girl in our class started to date one of them. We were worried that he would corrupt her. Well, she married him, and more than 40 years later they are still in love, and have a slew of adorable grandchildren! Whenever I see them I marvel that this darling man hung out with the tough crowd! He couldn’t be sweeter! But back then we judged him by his group of friends!

Our verse today confirms the importance of choosing quality buddies:

Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise,

    but the companion of fools will suffer harm. (Proverbs 13:20)

We become like those we hang around. So, if we are spending lots of time with Jesus, we will become more and more like Him. If we spend time with other believers, we will be encouraged in our faith. It just makes sense! Which is why verse 20 is in the Proverbs! We don’t have to steer clear of unbelievers. In fact we are to be a light to them, and we can’t do that if we hide out from them! However, we need the support of fellow believers to be able to stand firm against the pull of the world.

If you hang out with those who are wise, you will pick up some of that same wisdom! That sounds good to me!  

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