Saturday, June 24, 2023

Walk with the Wise (Proverbs 13:14, 20; 14:7; 16:21)

"He who walks with wise men will be wise" (Prov. 13:20).

When we consider the company we keep, we should ask not whether there will be any influence upon our character, but what kind of influence it will be. We influence one another whether we want to or not. Charles Bridges argued that all of us want to influence our companions in one way or another. Whatever the case, it is clear from Scripture that we are greatly influenced by the people around us. Therefore, it is extremely important to consider carefully those you spend time with—and especially those you listen to, either accidentally or directly.

Solomon said, “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed.” If you want know God and imitate Him in your life, you will need to learn from the wise. This means you must be around them, listen to them, and learn from them. “Walking with the wise—under their instruction, encouragement, and example—we shall be wise,” Bridges wrote. “Our principles and habits will be fixed, our interest excited, and the resolution formed—‘We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you’ (Zech. 8:23) … The world may allure, the ungodly may mock, the evil heart may consent to their voice. But seek your strength from God, and resolve to walk with the wise—‘as the Lord liveth, and as my soul liveth, I will not leave thee’ (2 Kings 2:4). Walk with those, whose acquaintance will be a special talent, to give account of to God.”

Who do you listen to? What kind of company do you keep? Do you listen more to the news anchor on television than the pastor in your church? Do you read more worldly publications than the Bible? Can you even guess the extent to which you have been influenced by fools rather than the wise? If you are young, do you listen more to your friends than to your parents? Do you really take seriously the impact others have on your thinking?

Listen to Solomon’s exhortation to walk with the wise. Seek them out, follow their example, ask them advice and counsel. And if you find none, and they are few indeed, turn to saints of the past who have left their counsels and their godly wisdom in the form of books and published writings.

Make a list of your friends, family, work associates, books and magazines you read, television shows you watch on a regular basis. From this list, check those that are clearly Christian in orientation. Highlight those that are contrary to Christian values. Do you walk with the wise most of the time? What changes do you need to make?