Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
We are all familiar with the biblical concept that those who walk with the wise will become wise (Prov. 13:20). Or, the opposite, “Bad company ruins good morals” (1 Cor. 15:33). Most of us inherently know that the people we hang around with, the people we spend the most time with, are bound to rub off on us. This is one of the reasons I left the military. In my younger days, while I enjoyed serving as a soldier in the U.S. Army, playing with guns, tanks, and grenades, spending weeks at a time in the field with a group of roughneck soldiers became difficult. Maybe it’s because I was young in the Lord, a relatively new believer, but when we went out to the field for a three to four-week training exercise, I found myself behaving more and more like them by the end of it. This is because humans are impressionable creatures, and it is easier to behave ungodly than it is to behave godly. Engaging in sin is easy. Resisting sin is not. Yet so often it can be difficult to find those people, those fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, that we can spend much time with, whom we know will be a positive influence on us. People are busy. Schedules are packed. We know it would be good to spend more time with people who would have a positive influence in our lives but finding the time is challenging. This is precisely one of the many reasons God gave us the scriptures and why the Bible is so massive. In 1 Corinthians 10:1-10, Paul reminds his readers of all the experiences the Israelites went through and suffered through, how God delivered them and provided for them in the wilderness, and yet most of them did not enter the promised land because of their disobedience and hard heartedness, because they engaged in sexual immorality and idolatry. However, twice in that section he makes two important statements. In v.6 he says, “Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did.” Then again in v.11, “Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.” Paul’s point is clear. This is why we should read God’s word every day. This is why we should read through the entire Bible from cover to cover on a regular basis. Whether we read through the Bible in a year every year or take a longer three-year approach, the important thing is that we are reading through God’s word daily because “whoever walks with the wise becomes wise” (Prov. 13:20) and “these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction.”
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