So much wisdom. I am so often amazed at the enormity of Biblical wisdom in very few words. Our Verse of the Day seems so simple, but it is a true challenge of our walk in this life. Let’s take a look:
20 Walk with the wise and become wise,
for a companion of fools suffers harm.
At first glance, this passage is telling us that we need to be careful of who we hang around with. It reminds of another passage that says “bad company corrupts good character” (1 Corinthians 15:33). Sure, we need to not hang around trouble-makers. Instead, we need to hang around the good kids. Can’t we all hear our mothers from long ago yelling to us as we leave the house for school, “Don’t get mixed up with the wrong crowd!” And there is wisdom in that. But there is a deeper message in this passage.
The wise walk. But the word for companion comes from the root word of ‘grazing.’ The wise walk, but fools graze. One is on the move, going forward while the other stays in one place. One is industrious while the other is content with what is in front of his face. One has a path, the other has a spot. One is concerned of where he is going while the other concerns himself no more than the feeling of pleasure that comes with a full belly. Hmmm…are you beginning to see the people in your life as one or the other?
We are called to walk not to graze. We are called to be found in the company that is moving forward, looking forward, expending energy. The Bible says the Kingdom of Heaven advances on Earth to those who go after the things of God with diligence (Matthew 11:12). We are also taught that if we are going to follow Christ we must believe that God rewards those who seek him with great effort (Hebrews 11:6). The wise work hard going after the things of God and the plan of God in their life. But fools do the opposite.
Fools are content with the status quo. They are lukewarm in their spirituality. They know Christ. They believe in Christ. But they do not live the life of Christ. This past Sunday, our special speaker Dr. Jeffrey Johnon reminded us that Jesus did not come to us saying, “Walk with me and I will fill your belly.” No, He came saying, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” This was not the kind of fishing where you lay out a line, then take a nap in the boat. No, these men rowed out into the deep waters, casting nets and pulling them up. It was hard work. The most fulfilling and wonderful things God has for us in this life requires a faith backed up with diligence and energy.
When we think about this, the question we have to ask is why would anyone want to be a fool? The answer is in the Scripture itself. Fools hang around one another, not expending any energy but to satisfy the pleasures of the flesh. There is no work. There is no suffering. It is jocularity and easy-living. It is taking what comes easy in life as if that is all life has to offer. It is coming to church, but not accepting the mission from Christ to change the world. It is throwing some money into the offering plate, but not enough to be a sacrifice. It is listening to Christian radio, but never connecting with God through worship.
Fools concern themselves completely with companionship, friendship, laughing, joking, eating, drinking, enjoying the pleasures of life with one another. And the Lord wants us to have a friend and He wants us to enjoy life. That’s why we have taste buds…so we can truly appreciate Heaven’s gift of Blue Bell Vanilla Bean ice cream. But the wise do not place their priority on fellowship. The wise place their priority on the direction of their life.
When we place our priority on the direction of our life, we are not tempted to stay in one place just to maintain a friend. When situations in life present a choice between fun or mission, pleasure or sacrifice, friendship or isolation, indulgence or sacrifice, the wise choose not to stand around filling their bellies, indulging in apathy, destined for nowhere. Instead, they choose the way of holiness, the way of sacrifice, the path to glory and God’s plan for our life.
The question we have to ask ourselves is if we are walkers or grazers, wise or foolish, in pursuit of blessing or standing in the path of harm. What do you say? Let’s walk with the wise.
How are you walking? Do you see yourself grazing too much? What would be the first step to help you stop grazing in foolishness and start walking in wisdom? How would this affect your relationships with people?