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January 16, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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“Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.”—Proverbs 13:20 (NLT)
My parents always used to tell me, “Show me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are.” Now, this obviously doesn’t always apply to everyone, and I don’t want to make a sweeping generalization . . . But let’s be honest, if all your friends are crooked criminals who love crime and corruption, what does that say about you? If all your friends love doing drugs, getting drunk, and doing awful things on a nightly basis, how does that reflect on you?
I think King Solomon understood this. That’s why he wrote the words in today’s verse. And I think, as it pertains to the idea of dating, this verse has two powerful lessons for us. First, if as a believer, you are looking for the kind of mate you can make a life with, and yet you “associate with fools,” who do you think you’re going to attract?
If the company you keep don’t reflect your character, nor reflect God’s character, is it possible you may need to evaluate why you continue to keep that company? A few months ago, my mentor wrote this in a devotional: “Convictions require severance at some point. You cannot hold to something while holding onto that which contradicts it.” I think it’s fairly safe to say that attracting the right mate is much more difficult if you’re surrounded by “fools;” unless, of course, your goal is to attract a fool.
The second big lesson I think speaks to dating itself, particularly the practice known as “missionary” dating. Let’s apply and modify Solomon’s words to your dating life for one second: Date the wise and become wise; date a fool and get in trouble. In 1 Corinthians 15:33 (NIV), Paul said, “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’"
So often, people think they can date someone who is a “fixer upper” and change them with a “little bit of love.” But, sadly, the opposite effect usually takes place. I remember dating a girl or two in college who were, let’s just say “fools.” As a believer, I thought My testimony in her life will change her. She’ll get saved and stop doing _____. But that didn’t happen. Instead, I found myself falling into _____ and falling away from the Lord.
Am I saying you should only date a perfect person? Nope. Those don’t exist. But you should look for someone who is wise—remember where wisdom begins (Proverbs 9:10). And if you want to “land” that wise person, you may want to consider the vibe you are giving off. Is your company reflecting wisdom or foolishness?
DIG: Who are you hanging out with?
DISCOVER: What does your company of friends say about you?
DO: Spend time in prayer, asking the Lord to reveal His will regarding your friends and romantic life.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.