Avoid fools if you don’t want to become one
Read: Proverbs 12
We have all heard the phrase “guilt by association.” Did you know there is also such a thing as “hurt by association”?
The Bible has a lot to say about foolishness and wisdom. The term “fool” is not used as an insult nor does it refer to a person’s IQ. Foolishness describes a state of mind and a matter of character. If respect for God is the beginning of wisdom, the opposite is also true: A foolish person is someone who does not respect God (Proverbs 9:10).
While we all act foolishly at times, there is a significant difference between making mistakes and living opposed to Jesus.
Proverbs 12 describes fools as quick-tempered, prideful, and manipulative (Proverbs 12:2and Proverbs 12:5). Fools refuse to accept advice or correction, and they intentionally seek to hurt others (Proverbs 12:1, Proverbs 12:5-16). But, those who respect God and follow Jesus make a conscious effort to seek peace, tell the truth, work hard, and encourage those around them (Proverbs 12:17-28).
Who we surround ourselves with has a direct impact on our desire and ability to pursue the kind of life Jesus wants us to live. It is not possible to follow Him and ignore His warnings about people we should avoid.
The friends we run closely with influence the direction we go in. If we want to be wise, we have to surround ourselves with people who encourage us to make good decisions and help us avoid the deceit of foolishness (Proverbs 12:26).
· Who do you know that encourages you to follow Jesus? Are there people in your life who you find yourself getting into trouble with more often than not?
· Does knowing where Jesus leads us (peace, contentment, joy), change your perspective about heeding His warnings? Why or why not?