I want you to do an experiment. Grab a friend and a kitchen chair. Now stand on that chair and try to pull your friend up. It’s pretty hard isn’t it? Now tell them to try and pull you down. That was a lot easier, now wasn’t it? Just as the gravity is pulling us to the ground, helping your friend pull you down with them and working against you to pull them up – so is the sin that we are born into. This came to mind when I read Saying 3.
Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person,
do not associate with one easily angered,
or you may learn their ways
and get yourself ensnared.
– Proverbs 22:24-25
I am a strong believer in being surrounded by others who are also strong believers, and together we can go out and reach the lost. My heart is for the lost, and those who do not know God, but I know how important it is to choose your friends wisely. It is so important to surround yourself with people who are positive and have the same vision as you, and together your life will be an example to those who don’t serve the same vision. We do need to get into other people’s boats, we just have to be careful whose boat we are spending too much time in. That is where I believe these scriptures come into play.
In Proverbs 22:24-25, Solomon is warning us not to make friends with someone who is hot tempered. This is saying the same thing as the next line that says easily angered. A person who carries these negative traits end up not only hurting those around them, but also pull them down into a similar anger.
When it suggests making friends with someone of this attitude, it is not saying to avoid them all together. The word friendship here means to make a companion or keep company with. As Jesus stepped into Simon’s boat while he was still a sinner, he got up close and personal with him. But this is not where he spent his bulk of time. His time was spent with his father. And once Simon became strong in the Lord, and shared the same vision as Jesus, he lead him in closer and grew that friendship.
The second part of this saying warns us that if we are spending too much time growing these friendships, rather then us bringing them to the level of conviction in our own hearts, we may learn their ways and become ensnared by our own doing. When it refers to getting ensnared, it is referring to a type of trap that is used to catch animals. I did a little research looking into how these traps actually work, and although the animal is caught in the first place, the more they struggle, the tighter the snare becomes around them, trapping them more and more. Character traits are the same way. Sometimes you don’t realize how much a trait is becoming apart of you until it is formed into your personality.
So take some time and ask God to help you evaluate your friendships. You may find in this time, He might also put his finger on music, tv shows, or even movies that are forming your character as well. Ask God to show you the best friendships to invest your time into and how much time to spend with those you are reaching out to.
I’d love to hear what God is speaking to you through this verse! Share with us in the comments! And don’t forget to follow along with us by subscribing below. Check out other posts on Thirty Sayings of the Wise.