“Walk with the wise and become wise,
for a companion of fools suffers harm.”
Have you ever heard the phrase, “You’re only as good as the company you keep?” The idea is that who you surround yourself with will eventually have an impact on who you are. One motivational poster I saw said something similar: “If you surround yourself with chickens, you’re going to cluck. If you surround yourself with eagles, you’re going to fly.” Again, the concept is that who you spend the majority of your time with will either make you better or bring you down.
This Proverb tells us that if we surround ourselves with wise people, we will become wise. On the other hand, the person who makes themselves a companion to fools will end up worse off in the end.
This concept is immensely important to us as Christians. It doesn’t matter how much you want to change your ways or repent, if you put yourself in the company of people who encourage sin, you will not be successful. This is why the concept of Church is so important. There is plenty of negativity around Church in the modern era, and understandably so. People have done many evil things in the name of the Church, which cannot be condoned. This, however, does not give us a reason to abandon the Church. It gives us an obligation to get involved and make sure that the Church reflects its savior, Jesus.
When we become a part of the Church, regardless of the debate between denominations, when we become a part of an active group of believers in Jesus Christ, we make each other better. The sins that I struggle with may be something that you’ve already fought through and conquered, and vice versa. We can help each other. The wiser and more knowledgeable can teach and inform the body, those with a gift for generosity and compassion can exemplify that aspect of Christ to the body, and so on and so on for every spiritual gift under the sun.
The point is, when we put ourselves into community with other believers, we all become more like Christ. When we isolate ourselves and surround ourselves with people who aren’t following Jesus, we put ourselves in the midst of temptation and sin. We’re setting ourselves up to fail.
If you’re truly pursuing repentance and right relationship with Christ, it’s time to check who you’re surrounding yourself with and make sure they’re helping you toward sanctification, not the opposite.
Give me eyes to see the people in my life that are holding me back from repentance and righteousness. I pray that you’d help me to love them and show them grace, but not to give them influence over my life. Help me to find a Church that I can learn from, contribute to, and that can help me become more like you.
In Jesus’ Name,