Proverbs 13: Walking with the Wise or Foolish?
"The one who walks with the wise will become wise, but a companion of fools will suffer harm.” Proverbs 13:20
With the book Proverbs being known as the book of wisdom, this verse seems fitting. Throughout this chapter, there is a theme, whether you’re walking in wisdom or foolishness. More specifically, are you walking with the wise, or are you walking with the foolish?
"From the fruit of his mouth, a person will enjoy good things, but treacherous people have an appetite for violence." Proverbs 13:2
Before I was saved, I use to hang around people who sold drugs, got into fights, and were up to no good. Who did I become? Like them. I became the people I surrounded myself around. Now that I’m saved and have been for years, the people I surround myself with are wise men of God who hold me accountable. Who did I become? More like Christ. These men in my life have rebuked, encouraged, exhorted, and instilled wisdom in my life, and because of that, God used them to continue to conform me into the image of His Son. These men were the example of verse 14:
"A wise person’s instruction is a fountain of life, turning people away from the snares of death.” Proverbs 13:14
So, who are you walking with? Are you in friendships that are dangerous to your soul but stay in them for the sake of reputation? Is it worth your soul? Are you getting accountability with wise men or wise women being brought into your life? As a follower of Christ, you desire to gain wisdom and knowledge, and God has gifted us people in His church to contribute to gaining that wisdom. Take time to pray and ask God to place people in your life to hold you accountable and give you wisdom for practical and daily living.
Use Proverbs 13 as a check list for your heart. Ask yourself, do you guard your mouth? Or do you just let whatever comes to mind, come out of your mouth? (v. 13). When you lie, do you have conviction and sorrow? Or is there no conviction when you lie and you justify it as a “white lie?” (v. 5). Are you prideful? Do you think you’re okay without accountability? Is the group you surround yourself with a bunch of “yes men/women”? (v. 10).
These questions are necessary to ask yourself. What’s interesting is that if you hang out with people who lie, are prideful, and speak before they think, you’re more prone to do the same. So I encourage you to not only ask yourself these questions, but also ask yourself if you are hanging around people who do those things? As a Christian, this walk of life isn’t made to be walked alone. Surround yourself around people who speak life and give you wisdom.
This is not a blog telling you to not hang with your unbelieving friends; this is a blog to encourage you to surround yourself with those who can hold you accountable with wisdom, encouragement, and, if need be, rebuke. That way, you can hang around those who are nonbelievers and be the light and salt that God calls you to be (Matthew 5:13-16).
DeVonte Howard lives in Spokane, WA. The Lord removed his heart of stone and gave him a heart of flesh when he was a freshman in college. He is engaged to the most beautiful woman in the world, Paola Rodriguez. DeVonte graduated with his Social Work Degree from Eastern Washington University. His day job is the Recreation Manager for a non-profit in Spokane. He enjoys reading and writing (typical), but to be more specific, he used to be a book junkie and loves to write blogs, poetry, and book reviews. He is a coffee aficionado (in other words, a coffee snob). DeVonte holds to the Reformed Baptist 1689 perspective, and his hope is that God may be glorified in all of his writings and that he can take theology and doctrine and make it applicable to the readers. Soli Deo Gloria!