October 17, 2015

A Wise Friend—a Gift From God

Proverbs 13:15-20

The righteous choose their friends carefully. . . . Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.

—  Proverbs 12:26; 13:20

Like other parents, my mother cautioned me about hanging out with the wrong crowd. Literally, she said, “Remember, you get infected by such friends.” As a teenager, I thought she stated it too negatively. But was her advice any different from Solomon’s: “A companion of fools suffers harm”? The teaching about carefully choosing friends makes sense if we realize how quickly we can be led astray.

In Genesis 3 we learn that God walked in the garden with Adam and Eve. What a friendship that must have been! In John 15 Jesus refers to his disciples as his friends. When I read those words, I think of all the time Jesus must have spent walking with his disciples. Imagine walking with the Son of God, asking questions, hearing him explain about life, and pondering the amazing things he said.

A wise friend is a gift from God. We must choose our friends carefully, avoiding unwise companions. A good friend will sacrifice for others. Jesus, the greatest of friends, tells us, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13).

How is your walk with Jesus? Do your friends walk with him? Have you invited them to do so?

Father, thank you for wise friends and for enriching my life through their friendship. Show me how I can be a better friend. In the name of Jesus, my Friend, Amen.

About the author — George Vink

Pastor George Vink has served as a pastor in the Christian Reformed Church for more than 30 years in British Columbia, Montana, Michigan, and California. He and his wife, Shirley, have four married sons and nine grandchildren.

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