One of my mother’s most quoted sayings was, “Birds of a feather flock together.” When I first heard her say it, I had no idea what she was talking about. However, she did. She realized that one of her most important obligations, as a parent, was to guard me from friends who might lead me away from God. She knew each of my playmates, and as I grew older, my friends, personally.
When I became a parent, that quotation grew in its importance. I came to realize that my choice of friends always flows from the values I hold dearest and live before others. People who enjoy softball or golf, cooking or gardening, worshiping God and studying His Word, form relationships with others because they hold things “in common” – their values.
Solomon said, “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools will be harmed.” The advice contained in this proverb is significant because it focuses our attention on the “informal learning process” – not what is taught in classrooms or churches. Much of our learning is “absorbed” through watching others, being with others, and having a desire to imitate or be like others, especially those whom we admire or hold up as heroes.
Someone once asked John Rockefeller what he did to become so successful. “I only associate with people who are successful,” he replied. While that might sound trite and an over simplified way of becoming successful, it is profoundly true. The most “life shaping and longest lasting” lessons of our lives come from those that have had the greatest impact on us- lessons that have been “caught” rather than “taught.”
Beware of your associates!
Prayer: Help us, Lord, to choose friends who honor and worship You, love Your Word and walk with You daily. May we seek to be with friends who honor You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture For Today: Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble. Proverbs 13:20