“Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.” - NLT 13:20
This could be one of the most powerful truths for teenagers to consider. When I was a teenager, my friends were a priority for me, and between school, sports, and weekends, most of my time was spent with them. Like most, we dressed alike, listened to the same music, used the same sayings, and were like family. Who we hang out with is ultimately who we become like. Solomon, one of the wisest men in history, teaches something similar, but with a twist. He says, that if you and I hang out with the wise (those who understand all of life’s decisions are connected, and who follow God's plan), we will become like them, wise. We will measure our choices and actions based on the outcomes. Then the twist comes - “associate with fools and get in trouble.” We would naturally think, based on what Solomon previously wrote, that if we hang out with fools (those who know the outcomes of their choices will turn out bad, but don’t care, and disregard God), we will become like them. He says, not necessarily, but you will “…get in trouble.” He is saying, we may not talk like they talk, or do what they do, but when the consequences of their poor decisions and sin blows up in their lives, we will get hit with the shrapnel. We have all experienced this. We have hurt others unintentionally by our bad decisions, and we have all been hurt by other’s bad decisions. If we are hanging out with fools (who ultimately don’t care about their own lives), what makes us think they care about our lives. We will only experience pain by our association and inevitably will follow in their footsteps, hurting ourselves and those around us. This is a powerful principle, that if followed, can be one of the most positive forces in our lives. But if ignored, it will cause great sorrow and regret. Who are you associating with? Would you consider them wise or foolish? What would others watching your life consider you? Pray for Jesus to help you hang (do life with) with the wise people He has put in your life.