Last Saturday in Darwin, Australia, the police recovered the body of a 26 year old man who attempted to swim across a crocodile-infested river in the Australian Outback while at a birthday party with friends. Though many signs were posted warning of the danger, as well as the well-known reputation of that area for crocodiles, he still willingly jumped into the water in attempt to swim the 260 foot-wide river to the other side.
Many of us would look at this story and react…”how foolish” of that young man to willingly be swimming with a bunch of crocodiles in the first place. Didn’t he know that they would respond to their natural instincts by dragging him under, leading to his demise?
Similarly, Solomon, in his book of infinite wisdom, shines some sound advice when it comes to the affect our friends have on our lives. He says… “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” (Prov. 13:20 ESV)
He points out two different types of friends…Wise and Fools. No one can deny the fact that you soon become like the people you hang around with the most.
WISE friends are the ones who add value to our lives by how they live theirs. Their influence on us helps lead us deeper in our faith-journey with God (Prov. 9:10). Because they are in our lives, they help build us up and encourage us in the ways we should go.
In contrast, there is the FOOLISH friend. We soon discover their foolish ways by how their influence begins to affect us negatively. When around them, you find yourself thinking foolish thoughts and condoning foolish behavior. No matter what you do, or how hard you try, the more your friendship with them continues the more dragged down you feel.
My encouragement is for you is to choose wisely who your friends are and how you interact with them. Whether you realize it or not, they have the ability to build you up or drag you down. They can’t help it, they are only acting on their natural instinct. So, my question for you is…do you feel confident about the ones you are swimming with?