Shaped by Association
Proverbs 13:20 “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed."
We have different levels of association. We have friends that we closely associate with, there are others that we are distantly are connected to, and then there are associations that are somewhere in between. When choosing those friends that are closest to us, we need to take into consideration that our closest associations are going to influence us the most. They will shape us and we will shape them. Proverbs 13:20 says that if we walk with wise, we will be wise, but if we are a companion of a fool, we will be destroyed.
Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance (or character) of his friend.”
I am not saying that we should not reach out to the lost and hurting. Jesus is our example of a man who was known to “associate with sinners.” He ate with them. He went to their homes. As Jesus associated with sinners, He was seeking to save the lost. He was looking for humble people that would receive the Father’s love and respond to it. However, the ones that Jesus closely associated with were the disciples, twelve men of His choosing. Eleven of those men helped to launch the spreading of the Gospel message and the growth of the kingdom of God.
When we we choose our closest associations, we are choosing who we want to influence us and with whom we want to invest in. I value differences in my circle, but there are certain aspects that have to be similar. Those aspects are character, core values, vision, purpose, and beliefs.
When we are choosing our inner circle of associations, we are also choosing who we want to be identified with. The people that we choose to surround ourselves with are typically people that we have an interest in or share something in common with.
Application: When asking yourself, “Whom should I associate myself with?’ also ask yourself, “Whom should I NOT associate with?”
By Melanie Stone