Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm. – Proverbs 13:20
Who are your walking buddies? Who are the people you really let get into your head? Who are the people you listen to for their opinions, perspectives, and advice? Who do you learn from, even as you walk together through life’s experiences – the big ones, the great ones, the awful ones, and the daily-day ones?
Are you and I getting wiser as we walk with those particular people? Are you and I becoming more like Jesus – more loving, more authentic, more whole, more balanced – because of what we’re learning or, at least, what we’re being reminded of by our life-walk walking buddies?
If our answer is “Yes!” to these questions, well, let’s keep on walking together with these people! Let’s keep sharing the wisdom, love, grace and truth of Jesus Christ.
If our answer is “No!” to these questions, then we’ve got to take a serious look at where we may be being foolish. Where we may be suffering harm. Or, even, where we may be causing harm, in any way at all, to others. We need to think about what is talked about or not talked about as we walk along. We need to be very aware of what activities are done or not done, with these particular walking companions.
Now, I’m not suggesting that we should put ourselves into some kind of ridiculously tight, self-protecting, self-righteous, bubble-wrapped “Christian” life-walk, surrounded only by friends who stand firm against this world’s evils with a mind-set ruled by harsh judgments and condemnation rather than with love and compassion. That kind of life-walk, with those kind of walking buddies, is not going to do a whole lot of good towards fulfilling God’s plan and purpose for us, as His children, to be His light and salt to this world. Nor will that kind of boarded-up, closed-off life-walk allow us to be authentic ambassadors of Christ to the people around us who do not, yet, know of the very real love, unfailing mercy, and eternal hope offered by our Lord Jesus Christ.
We are called to walk as Jesus walked, to live as Jesus lived (Ephesians 5:2). Jesus kept counsel continually with His Father and with the Spirit as He walked on this earth, trusting their love, wisdom and righteousness for every step of His life. Even as He entered lovingly and challengingly into the lives of all humanity – into all of our lives as the least, the last, the lost, the sinners. Even as He walked to Golgotha to be crucified (Mark 15:22). Even as He stepped out of the grave in absolute victory!
So, who are your walking buddies? As followers of Christ, we are to “keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25) while walking through this life. May each of us choose the Spirit of the Living Christ as our primary walking buddy – as our primary companion for giving us wisdom, counsel and eternal perspective. If we do that, we can be more greatly confident that we will not walk with fools and suffer harm.
With the Spirit of God as our closest walking companion, we will more likely choose other walking buddies who will help us grow wise in God’s good, loving, faithful, hope-filled and victorious ways!