He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm. (Proverbs 13:20)
Do you have a wise woman or man in whom you confide? Is there someone—your dad, mom, a business associate, or teacher—to whom you can go for objective, biblical advice? It is in humility we learn to harvest good sense and wisdom. Gaining God’s perspective is not a one-time event but a lifetime of leaning on others to grow in our understanding. Wisdom comes from walking with the wise, not flirting with fools.
Good people engage with good company. There is no separation of being influenced by skilled people with seedy morals during the week and hearing a sermon on Sunday. “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character’” (1 Corinthians 15:33). Instead, be intentional toward integrity. Seek out a wise peer, or ask a wise mom if you may call her for counsel. Wisdom walks with willing participants who obey.
For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. (1 Peter 2:15).
Beware of fools who talk fast but do not follow through. They may be aware of what is right and talk the talk, but they fail to walk the walk. They ignore integrity. Fools eventually damage relationships. Foolish behavior will come back to bite you; so avoid its influence. What seems like innocent fun eventually inflicts suffering and harms hearts. Fools practice anti-wisdom. “Fools despise wisdom and discipline” (Proverbs 1:7).
So where can you find wise companions? Look for them in church or in respected leadership roles in the community. Vet their resume of wise living by observing the countenance of their spouse, watching how they love their children, and studying their financial management. Jettison foolish friends so you have the capacity to walk with the wise. Ask, “Am I growing in wisdom or floundering with fools?”
A wise ruler once said, “It is better to heed a wise man’s rebuke than to listen to the song of fools." (Ecclesiastes 7:5)