You can choose
Walk with the wise and become wise,
for a companion of fools suffers harm.
- Proverbs 13:20
Just as we can walk with the wise, we can become a companion of fools. It’s easy for us to just drift into unhealthy relationships. People come in and out of our lives and we may not always feel like we have a lot of say about our involvement with them.
But we do. And it matters.
Your companions matter greatly for your spiritual, emotional, psychosocial, and physical well-being (more on this tomorrow). And you can choose who you spend time with and how you will allow them to influence you.
In the mid-1950’s Murray Bowen started developing what’s become known as “family systems theory.” His idea was that each family develops patterns of behavior and expected roles for every member of the family to play. You could extend Bowen’s theory to apply it to workplaces, friendship circles, neighborhoods, and churches. And, in some of these systems, our human brokenness has locked the system into a gear that requires the presence of a fool.
You may not know what it would even look like to pull back from the “fool” or the person whose behavior is marked by foolhardiness or foolishness. You may not feel confident that such a boundary is even possible.
On the other hand, you may feel a near-constant pressure to “act the fool” yourself. People may expect you to mess up, to let the team down, or to fail. You may not feel the freedom or the blessing from the people around you to let that role drop.
But you can do it. The Lord wants to bless you with wisdom. He wants to liberate each and every one of us from our foolishness. He can transform your family, your friends, your neighborhood, your workplace, and your church. He can change the world.
Take a few moments today to pray that the Lord would help you to walk with the wise rather than being a companion of fools. Ask him to nourish your wise relationships and free you from unhealthy relationships.