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  • Writer's pictureElpidio Pezzella

Choose Companionship Well

He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed.

(Proverbs 13:20 NKJV)

The Polish writer Stanislaw J. Lec wrote that "dating dwarves deforms the spine", evoking a particular degeneration, which certainly does not want to be a lack of sensitivity towards some and refers to the choice of companies to attend. Unfortunately, it is common nowadays to adapt more and more to vulgarity and stupidity, therefore to low things. Surely what is happening in the younger age groups can be included in this "social dwarfism". At least this is what appears from peeking into social networks, more and more a mirror of our soul, but also of our mind. More and more we end up bent under piles of words, submerged by vulgar and abusive expressions, wastes of intelligence and waste to be disposed of without sorting. All this, alas, has repercussions on the soul, increasingly heavy and unable to extricate itself and find the path of morality and truth, while violence is spreading.

The apostle Paul admonished the Corinthians in these terms: Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits" (1 Corinthians 15:33). Alluding to "bad company", which were nothing but "wolves in sheep's clothing", his only concern is that of any shepherd who tries to preserve the flock. Some popular sayings, such as "whoever goes with the wolf learns to howl" and "whoever goes with the lame learns to limp", are on the same wavelength. Every believer is certainly not called to live a life devoid of social relationships, since the Lord did not take us out of the world, but sent us to be light and salt, even though we were aware that we would be sheep among the wolves. Since all that glitters is not gold, it is good to pay close attention to who we hang out with, because not all those who call themselves friends or appear wise then really are.

As a parent I have repeatedly recommended my children to carefully choose the friendships to cultivate, to consider carefully what common interests there are, in order to prevent unpleasant consequences. I'm sure many others do the same. At times, too lightly, we choose to spend time with people we hardly know and who may turn out to be disreputable, and who gradually build bonds from which it is difficult to extricate themselves, to the detriment of their family and spiritual life. The verse of Proverbs leads us to ask ourselves who are the wise men to associate with and prefer to the foolish. Always Proverbs tells us that "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding" (9:10). Therefore the wise are those who fear God, that is, who strive to walk according to his statutes, that is, they live the faith in a concrete way.

In Psalm 1 we can read that there are three actions to be avoided. More than sitting, walking or stopping, the company of the wicked, sinners and scoffers is to be avoided. The wicked is the one who carries out perfidious actions towards someone like him. We cannot walk with those who are not interested in the good of others for the benefit of him. The sinner carries out actions contrary to God's will. Blessed is he who does not stop in his way. There is a way that Jesus defined as broad and spacious, which leads to eternal perdition: it is traveled with pleasure by sinners, everything is easy, easy and within reach. It would not seem like it, but it is downhill and leads to the depths, from where it is not possible to go up. The mocker, on the other hand, is one who makes a mockery not only of the Lord's people, but also of Scripture. His attitude tends to ridicule those who live by faith. Blessed (and wise) is he who does not sit with such people, and shares nothing in their actions.

We should examine ourselves and find the courage to admit that we can all be wrong and confused, as we cannot trust ourselves, our feelings alone. Our security will not prevent us from falling into error. We are not infallible. For this the immediate advice is to surround ourselves with wise people, whose life is clear and from whom we can learn. And the Bible is very clear about it. The same apostle always urged the Corinthians to look to his example (1 Corinthians 11:1; 4:16). The writer reminded the Jews that every believer should look at those who walk well and then imitate them (Hebrews 6:11-12; 13:7). But to live like this it takes tons of humility to be able to recognize that we need to grow and that some walk better than us. Unfortunately, our pride pushes us instead to seek relationships with those who are more or less at our level, or even more immature than us.


Weekly Bible Reading

Plan # 24

June 06, 2 Chronicles 25-27; John 16

June 07, 2 Chronicles 28-29; John 17

June 08, 2 Chronicles 30-31; John 18:1-18

June 09, 2 Chronicles 32-33; John 18:19-40

June 10, 2 Chronicles 34-36; John 19:1-22

June 11, Ezra 1-2; John 19:23-42

June 12, Ezra 3-5; John 20

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