In this day and age of social distancing, many of us are reminded about the importance of good, quality friendships. I read a story the other day of an Iraq War veteran who sadly committed suicide just this past week. This soldier suffered from PTSD and made it clear in a note that the lack of being able to connect with his support group was more than he could handle. This man truly needed close friends.
That said, while we would all agree that having good friends is certainly important, our reading today brings us to a passage that reminds us of having the right kind of friends. Proverbs 22:24-25 reads, “Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go:Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul.” Wow, the Lord can’t make it much clearer than that. Do be friends with an angry man. Black and white, clear and simple.
Obviously we are not talking about a casual, friendly relationship; no, we are talking about avoiding an angry man as one of our close friends. These would be the people that we go out of our way to spend time with. This is clearly seen in verse 25 as it warns us that time spent with an angry person will eventually rub off on us, i.e “lest thou learn his way.” The principle stands that inevitably we will start to develop some of the mindsets and traits of that angry person. It brings to mind a saying that I heard many years ago, “In 5 years from now you will be the end result of the books you read and the friends you keep.” Think about that for a minute. Do you need to take a second look at who you spend a lot of time with? As parents, do we need to perhaps step in and “wave a red flag” regarding someone that we see one of our kids becoming close with? Or perhaps, is it possible that perhaps I/we might be the angry man that this Proverb is talking about and the person that others might need to separate from?