In our continuing quest for divine wisdom, I suggest, first, that we read Proverbs regularly and, second, that we gain perspective of experienced, godly believers. We must also guard what we have.
Choose Your Friends Carefully
We’ll have our way with them, and when we’re through, there will be nothing left,
as if their bodies were swallowed whole by the grave’s dark pit.
We’ll take whatever we want—all their wealth and their fancy clothes—
and when we’re through, we’ll have piles of their treasure for our own.
You have to join us; forget about God.
We’re going to rake in the goods, and we’ll share all we take!
Proverbs 1:12-14 (VOICE)
Anybody who makes it easy for us to disobey God certainly isn’t a friend. The offer they made sounded exciting, but it only led to disaster.
One of the key characteristics of a wrong crowd of people is they don’t like to get into trouble by themselves. They like company when they are doing something wrong, especially if they are going to harm another person without any reason at all. I call folks like this “bullies”. As Solomon counseled us, do not consent to relationships that drag you down, interfere with your walk with God, or hinder your spiritual growth. Solomon warns us, “If they entice or try to lure you, don’t give in to them. Don’t consent to their invitations.” If you do, you begin a difficult journey on a path that is difficult to exit.
Offer your friendship freely to those you hope to influence, but avoid people who “ambush their own lives” (Prov. 1:18). They will not be influenced: they will simply get you involved in counterproductive activities that keep wisdom at arm’s distance. You don’t need that. No one does.
Reports the DENVER POST: “Like many sheep ranchers in the West, Lexy Fowler has tried just about everything to stop crafty coyotes from killing her sheep. She has used odor sprays, electric fences, and ‘scare-coyotes.’ She has slept with her lambs during the summer and has placed battery-operated radios near them. She has corralled them at night, herded them at day. But the southern Montana rancher has lost scores of lambs—fifty last year alone.”
Then she discovered, “the llama”, the aggressive, funny-looking, afraid-of-nothing llama. “Llamas don’t appear to be afraid of anything,” she said. When they see something, they put their head up and walk straight toward it. That is aggressive behavior as far as the coyote is concerned, and they won’t have anything to do with that. Coyotes are opportunists, and llamas take that opportunity away.
Apparently llamas know the truth of what James writes: “Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you” (4:7). We are to resist the temptations of Satan’s crowd.
How tragic that a group of people would actually find enjoyment in doing evil, and how foolish of them to think their loot would satisfy their desires. They rejected the eternal treasures of wisdom (Proverbs 3:14-16; 16:16) for the cheap trinkets of this world, and they lost their souls in the bargain.
What are some relationships from which you might need to withdraw, at least for a season?
What are some relationships you would like to cultivate? Think of some ways you can involve yourself with other wise people you admire?