Good morning and welcome to Week 3 in our Walking In Wisdom study! This week the focus is on relationships. Our lives are made up of various kinds of relationships – at work, at home, at church, at school, at the park, and at the store, just to name a few. We interact with people all the time and in different ways. Proverbs gives us a lot of wise counsel when it comes to who we should hang around with.
The Influence of Friends
In Proverbs 13:20 we are told that we should walk with those who are wise, and in turn we will become wise. People rub off on each other. The way we speak, the way we think, our behavior and vocabulary can affect the people we are with and vice versa.
If you have a really close friend, have you ever noticed yourself laughing like them, or using the same phrases as they do? We are easily influenced whether we realize it or not. And so Scripture tells us to make sure we are surrounding ourselves with wise people. Remember that a wise person is someone who loves God deeply and views all things through the lens of Scripture. Wise friends will love us, warts and all, and they make us want to be better by pointing us to Scripture.
Now, in Proverbs 22:24-25 we have verses that tell us specifically who we are to stay away from.
Make no friendship with a man given to anger,
nor go with a wrathful man,
lest you learn his ways
and entangle yourself in a snare.
This bit of wisdom is written in a tetrastich, meaning that it is a verse with four lines. Two of them are warnings and two of them tell us consequences. This type of repetition is used to make a point. Anger, wrath, annoyance and bad attitudes… these are like diseases carried along and spread to others by the infected.
If we hang around a person whose life is characterized by these various kinds of anger, then we are placing ourselves in a position where instead of being influenced for godliness we end up being influenced for ungodliness (1Cor. 15:33).
The Danger of Anger
Anger is both rebellion and pride. It is a kind of rebellion against God’s providence and goodness. In our anger we are essentially saying “I am not happy with what you are doing, Lord, and I don’t believe that it is good.” It is also a sign of pride because through our attitude we are saying that we believe we know better than God. Our anger generally comes from a heart that believes “I don’t deserve this!” or “I am better than this.” Anger defies the wisdom of God.
Such sins are dangerous and need to be guarded against. Anger in its various forms does not achieve the righteousness of God.
Proverbs is not telling us not to love and care for people prone to anger. And many of our friends will struggle with anger. But we need to be careful that we don’t join them in their bad attitude, and seek to encourage them toward peace. If we see that we are being led into ungodliness it is important to make changes, even limiting the relationship by spending less time with such a person. We should all seek to surround ourselves with people who model for us the fruit of the spirit and will cheer us on in our quest for godliness.
Now maybe we are the person who struggles with anger. In that case we need to repent and begin to grow in the fruit of self control by saturating our lives with Scripture, prayer and godly friends.
Looking to Jesus,
Week 3 Video:
(Can’t see the video? Click here)
Week 3 Challenge:
Lay all pride aside and identify areas in your life where anger has taken hold. Prayer is powerful, so pray daily that God would help you kill anger and grow in self control and patience. Seek out others who will love you as you are and call you to godliness.
Week 3 Reading Plan:
Week 3 Memory Verse: