Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | May 16, 2023

Foolish Friends

“He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.”  Proverbs 13:20

Proverbs 13:20 was one of the very first lines of scripture I memorized as a new believer—and it sets a great foundational direction for all of us who desire to follow Christ. Typically, we think to ourselves, “Yes, this is exactly what our kids need to know!” It definitely is. But this verse is also one of the many pieces of wise Biblical direction we give our kids that, sadly, they don’t necessarily follow. And, unfortunately, the second part of the Proverb—as promised—comes to pass. We simply keep praying that they’ll learn.

Let’s turn the mirror on ourselves for a minute. Sure, we can assess our friend group and choose to spend time with the “wise” among them—other believers who love Jesus and help disciple us as we sharpen them as well (Proverbs 27:17). But what about all our other “companions”? How wise or foolish are those whose words and actions bombard our eyes, ears, and mind daily through our digital media? Ouch.

As Christ followers, we have to assess all our companions—real people and those in the digital realm. The TV “friends” and “families” we watch, the podcast hosts we listen to, and even our “friends” on our social media platforms…in fact, many of us spend significantly more time with these “people” than we do with 3D human companions, so it’s vital to weigh their value to our life!

It’s easy to think that all this is harmless. “It’s just a funny meme video, all the cussing is just context.” Or “Yes, there are a lot of sex scenes, but the storyline is great.” Or “Sure, the divisiveness and vitriol is rampant, but I have to keep (social media platform name here) to keep up with my friends and family!” Even our musical companions croon (or bark) messages of sex, hatred, and drunkenness in our ears.

Our thoughts, as well as what and who feed our thoughts, inform our emotions, which generate our actions (Mark 7:20-22; Romans 8:5-7). That’s why the Bible is filled with exhortations to keep our mind on things above (Colossians 3:2), think about excellent, pure things (Philippians 4:8), and take our thoughts captive to obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). And in today’s digital world, where we’re constantly plugged in—listening and watching—our “thoughts” are being fed to us relentlessly. These are our daily companions…and if we’re plugged into foolishness, we will, indeed, suffer harm.

So, let’s each turn to the Holy Spirit living in us, yielding to Him as our counselor, helper, and guide when it comes to our daily companions. When we don’t shut Him up or out, He’ll let us know when we’re hanging out with fools. And when we spend less time with them, we’ll be able to walk with the wise more often…and grow wiser. We’ll get closer to the Lord and experience much more joy each day.

“Father God, forgive me for turning my time and attention to the debased things of this world that have become the cultural norms. Help me to walk with the wise and become more like Christ each day.”

For His Glory

Julianne Winkler Smith
TRBC Women’s Life



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