NewLife Anglican / Pastors Blog / Wise friendship (Proverbs 13)

Wise friendship (Proverbs 13)

Who are your friends?

I guess it’s a bit redundant asking this on Facebook as it will immediately become clear who your ‘friends’ are by clicking on the list. The question beyond that is.. ‘are they really?’ I mean that list has been growing over the past 5 – 10 years with all sorts of people – presumably who you know – but perhaps who wouldn’t strictly fit the definition of friends. 

Why does that matter? 

You know the saying, “you can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family.” 

It’s the choosing that defines us. 

There’s another saying, “Show me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are.” And another, “You’re only as good as the company you keep.” 

All these relatively modern sayings seem to be riffing off the ancient proverb that I’ve chosen from Proverbs 13 today. Have a listen,

“Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.”

(Proverbs 13:20 NIV11)

The bottom line is simple. Who we associate with massively impacts who we are becoming. Obviously we share common passions with our friends. Whether it’s 4WD-ing, fishing, novels and authors, cycling, or even just coffee. Our friendships are a place where we take our loves for a walk together. 

So who are your friends? Whether we’re conscious of it or not they are shaping who we are becoming. Who are you swimming with? What’s the shared water and where is that focus and attention taking you?

The wise swim with the wise and.. surprise, surprise, become wiser. The companion of fools – unsurprisingly suffers harm.

Since social media is constantly presenting us with windows (however contrived) into the lives of our ‘friends’ and it’s worth thinking about how that constant barrage is shaping you. Does it lead to godliness and contentment? Does it spur you on to make holy choices? Or does the window dressing of our social media feeds make you dissatisfied, envying the selfish, desirous of what we don’t have? 

We can hold in tension the idea that we want to continue to engage with those who are yet to know Jesus so there might be bridges for the good news to save them, but I wonder which direction the tide of influence is flowing in those connections.. towards the kingdom or away? 

So.. here we are on social media. I’m glad you found this post. Maybe it’s time for a new year’s prune of our social media ‘friends’ so that we might find and cultivate the sort of influences that make us wise rather than cause us harm.

As we talk of friendship it’s hard not to come back to the simplicity and beauty of this old hymn and in so doing remind ourselves that the ultimate friend should be Jesus Himself..

What a friend we have in Jesus

All our sins and griefs to bear

And what a privilege to carry

Everything to God in prayer

Oh, what peace we often forfeit

Oh, what needless pain we bear

All because we do not carry

Everything to God in prayer

Have we trials and temptations?

Is there trouble anywhere?

We should never be discouraged

Take it to the Lord in prayer

Can we find a friend so faithful

Who will all our sorrows share?

Jesus knows our every weakness

Take it to the Lord in prayer

Perhaps in this light friendship with those who love Him too should be treasured a little more highly than perhaps it has been..

May God have mercy and guide us here so that we might be becoming more of what He would like for our lives. 

Grace and peace,


#newlifeisfoundhere #readingfornewlife #wisdom #Proverbs

About The Author

New Life Anglican is a group of Christians who live in and around Oran Park, starting a brand new church with the express goal of seeing new life come to every home in Oran Park and the growing South West.