Wisdom Series: The Importance of Choosing Friends Wisely
“The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray” (Pro 12:26).
Are You Righteous?
This verse addresses “the righteous” or, those who have been made righteous by the application of the substitutionary atonement of Christ on the cross (See 2 Cor 5:21). This imputed righteousness is something that is applied to us, it does not come from us. Thus, to be made righteous is to experience the sovereign grace of God through regeneration. Being righteous doesn’t mean being “right” in a logical sense consistently. Nor does it mean to be “right” in a moral sense by living a highly ethical life. This designation is one only God can apply to a person. This is the condition of all truly born again Christians. [If you feel you lack this righteousness, click here to access the Gospel]
Choose This Day
As a schoolteacher, I say to kids all the time, “show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.” This saying means that the people you allow into your life play a major role in affecting the direction of your life. When I was into sin, so were all the people I surrounded myself with. Likewise, when I became a Christian, I looked to have Christian company. This adds weight to the choices that we make regarding our friends.
I’m no expert on human behavior and interaction but it seems we all have unwritten criteria through which we vet people for prospective friendships. What we must ask is are these criteria biblical? Or are they carryovers from our lives before Christ? Worse still, are they born out of some lack or insufficiency we see in ourselves?
The Way of the Wicked
Consider the words of the Apostle Paul to the Corinthian church which was known for its carnality and immorality, “Do not be deceived: ‘Evil company corrupts good habits’” (1 Cor 15:33).
Both this verse and our verse in Proverbs indicate the same thing; that if we choose to keep sinful, wicked company, it will corrupt us and lead us astray.
We cannot keep close company with sin and expect to go untainted. We cannot walk the razor’s edge of morality, eventually, we will fall on the blade. Who you invite into your life and for what reasons says a great deal about you. Are the people in your life pulling you into the world or are the people in your life leading you into conformity with Christ and obedience to His word? Perhaps a more important question than that is, “which way do you want to be led?”
Honestly answering this question will yield good fruit even if the truth sounds bad.
Prayerfully consider the relationships you have and the ones you choose to form. Be mindful of your intended goal. If it is to glorify God on and one day be glorified by the chiefest treasure Jesus Christ Himself, then many of the choices you have to make will become clear.
If this is truly your goal then we can go to God for the grace to eliminate things that are unfruitful from our associations and replace them with things that are. Here’s a verse you can use to approach God in prayer on this matter, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Ps 139: 23-24).