30 Days of wisdom - Saying 3 - "IF YOUR FRIENDS LACK SELF CONTROL, GET NEW ONES..."
SAYING 3 Prov 22:24 - 25
“Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, 25 or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared.” Prov 22:24 - 25
SAYING 3 in a Nut shell
"IF YOUR FRIENDS LACK SELF CONTROL - GET NEW ONES OR YOU WILL BECOME THEM"
It is likely you had your mother tell you at some point 'don't spend time with those boys, they are up to no good'. Just in case you were wondering, you mum was right. John Maxwell said something to the effect of 'the difference between where you are and where you will be in five years are the books you read and the people you spend time with'.
The people we make friends with with teach us “their ways” (V25b). We get trapped, or 'ensnared' in their way of life and the results of them.
Are you friends with a hot head? Someone with self control issues? This might be confronting but you need consider the environment they are leading you into, the person they are shaping you to be. You actually need to consider your friendship.
Friendship is the domain of influence, like a bridge in a war, if you can't control the flow of influence, you bomb it. If your friends control the bridge of influence, if they drag you down and away from what God has called you to, the bridge need be bombed. It is confronting but your friends speak of your future. Note the issue here is not perfect friends or only 'Christian' friends (some of whom are not very 'Christ-like') it is about people that lead you to places in life that will destroy you.
You need more positive Godly people in your life than those that are challenging in this area. Godly men and women are never perfect but you should see a good slab of the fruits of the Spirit evident in their life. Can you say fairly consistently – 'their name' is loving, joyful etc.
“...the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Gal 5:22 – 23)
Proverbs 13:20 tells us
“He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.”
Wisdom rubs off in the same way foolishness does.
Proverbs 27:5 – 6 says
“Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” Proverbs 27:5-6
Wounds from friends can be trusted because friends are for us, that means a good friend will be kind over nice at times, they will tell you the truth even when it hurts.
If we reverse SAYING 3 (Prov 22:24 - 25), it could be written like this
“Go and make friends with a good natured person, go and associate with loving, joyful, good, faithful, self controlled people and you may learn their ways and find yourself living the same life.”
WISE ACTION: List the ten closet people in your life – next to them note their influence in your life – positive or negative? What would you say their primary character traits are?