Choosing Our Friends
Daily Bible Reading – Proverbs 22-24; Romans 14
Today’s Key Passage – Proverbs 22:24-25
What makes you the person you are today? What goes in to building your personality? Where do your likes and dislikes come from? What about your morals? Who we are is shaped by a variety of factors. First and foremost, God creates us all in His own image. We are His creations, distinct in our looks and personalities, and different from every other person who has ever lived or will ever live. If our personalities stopped forming at that point, we would probably be in pretty good shape, but unfortunately, that is not the case. As we grow, we are impacted by a variety of environmental factors. These factors include our parents or guardians, siblings, what we learn, and what we see and hear. In fact, who we are as people is a process that never ends. We are constantly evolving to a certain degree and our personalities are constantly being formed. Some of these factors, such as our parents, cannot be changed. Some people, myself included, are lucky enough to grow up in a loving home with God-fearing parents. Others are not so lucky. Either way, there is nothing you can do about these factors. Other factors, such as what we choose to read, watch, or hear, are entirely up to us. In today’s key passage, we learn about another influencer of our personalities that we get to choose for ourselves. Today, we talk about choosing our friends.
In our key passage today, Solomon provides the following wisdom – “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.” (Vss. 22:24-25) Solomon understood an important concept about the formation of our personalities – who we choose to spend our time with, will shape us. The people we spend the most time with are going to “rub off” on us to a certain degree. There is simply no way around it. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is a cause for some warning. If we choose to spend our time around the wrong people, we are going to pick up bad habits. We are going to learn from their ways. Just as the Israelites were constantly being turned away from God by their evil neighbors, we can also be turned away from God if we choose to spend our time around the wrong people. Do not misunderstand me here – we cannot live in a protective shell never having contact with the outside world. In fact, we are called to spread the message of Jesus Christ to all people, including the evil ones. We are not, however, called to befriend them and spend all of our time socializing with evil people.
My question for each of you today is this: If you know that the people closest to you are going to shape you, who will you choose to spend your time with today? Will you choose evil people knowing they might turn you away from God, or will you choose God-fearing people who will help you build your faith? Surround yourself with people who exhibit traits you most admire, because those are the traits that you want to learn. If you want to become a better husband, befriend a man who you know to be a good husband. If you want to have more faith, befriend a man who has strong faith. Never underestimate the power your friends will have in forming your own personality, and always choose wisely.
During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you? Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.
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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.