Choosing Community

A wise man thinks ahead; a fool doesn't and even brags about it!

An unreliable messenger can cause a lot of trouble. Reliable communication permits progress.

If you refuse criticism you will end in poverty and disgrace; if you accept criticism you are on the road to fame.

It is pleasant to see plans develop. That is why fools refuse to give them up even when they are wrong.

Be with wise men and become wise. Be with evil men and become evil.

Curses chase sinners, while blessings chase the righteous!

Proverbs 13: 16-21 (TLB)

Austin Shumake is from Texas. When he was in high school, he tried to spend time with people from different friend groups and backgrounds. He spent time with his friends from his church youth group. But he was the captain of his cross-country team and spent a lot of time with his teammates too. When he was around his cross-country friends, he would sometimes catch himself acting differently than he would when he was with his friends from church. His behavior got to a really bad point during his junior year. In his senior year, the Lord opened his eyes to see that he was not modeling Christlike behavior.

We need to pay close attention to the people we spend the most time with. When Austin was spending time with certain people, he was moving away from the Lord. Today's verse says that if we surround ourselves with like-minded believers, then they will support us as we grow toward the Lord. (Proverbs 13:20)

Austin knows that he cannot go through his Christian walk alone. The book of Acts reminds him that we are called to be in community with other believers. Our lives of faith are richer when we surround ourselves with faithful companions.

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for friends who draw us closer to you, in Jesus' name, amen.

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