The one who walks with the wise will become wise, but a companion of fools will suffer harm.
(Proverbs 13:20, CSB)
Friend to Friend
Who we hang out with is a big deal. “One bad apple can spoil the bunch.” Remember that old saying? Well, I found out it’s actually true about apples! Here’s the deal. There’s a gas that’s a “fruit-ripening hormone” called ethylene. In apples, the level of ethylene gas rises continually as they ripen, go through their life cycles, and eventually rot. Because the release of ethylene gas increases as an apple rots, it accelerates the ripening (and rotting) of all the apples in close proximity to the rotting one. (Yay! Biology!) Don’t fall asleep on me.
Another old saying with a similar sentiment is this, “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.”
Some say, “Show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are.”
King Solomon wrote, “The one who walks with the wise will become wise, but a companion of fools will suffer harm.” (Proverbs 13:20, CSB) When we “walk [as a companion]” (AMP) with wise friends we become wise. And when we don’t… when we are “companions of [conceited, dull-wit- ted fools] (AMP) and we “associate with” (NLT) and “hang out with” fools (MSG) we are fools ourselves and will “experience harm” (AMP) “get in trouble” (NLT) and “be destroyed” (NKJV). (Proverbs 13:20)
It’s simple and true. Who we hang out with is a big deal, whether we’re apples or people.
King Solomon also explained, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” (Proverbs 9:10) These proverbs nailed both the importance of choosing wise friends and the wisdom of hanging tight with the Lord.
King David, Solomon’s dad, talked about the importance of these things as well. David, the writer of Psalm 101, made a compelling connection between choosing wise friends and living a holy (blameless) life (v2). He stressed the importance of pursuing personal purity and choosing to build closest friendships with those who are godly and truthful (v 6-7). He also made sure to stay clear of companions who are faithless, perverse, prideful, and slanderous (v 3-5).
It bears repeating, the people we surround ourselves with is a big deal.
Living a life of integrity doesn’t happen on its own for any of us.
So today I think about those I associate most closely with. I give thanks for the good apples, friends who build into my life… who pray with and for me, who share burdens and celebrate victories with me and who cry over losses beside me. And I’m reminded to distance myself from rotting apples.
Dear Lord, Please purify my heart. Help me to make wise choices about the people in my life. Show me if there are any rotten apples I need to distance myself from and give me courage to do hard things for right reasons.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
How did this message resonate with you today? Is there something God is calling you to do in response? Is there a relationship that needs to end or a conversation that needs to happen? Tell me about it in a direct message on Instagram.
Spend some time in prayer about this.
More from the Girlfriends
You want to grow closer to God, right? Without question, reading the Bible helps make this happen. If you’d like to read and study the Bible, but at your own pace and in your own space, then this is for you!
Girlfriends in God co-founder Gwen Smith has several online Bible Study options that will guide you on a personal journey with the Lord as you read, record, reflect on and respond to His Word.
These inductive studies will help you know what God says about tender topics like forgiveness, healing, fear, depression, relationships and hope. Each study can be done in the comfort of your home and in a timeframe that fits with your personal schedule. Visit www.GwenSmith.net/BibleStudy to learn more.