In following this construction truck I was careful to keep my distance of at least two hundred feet. Normally, when there is a sign forbidding a behavior, the rebel inside me wants to contest, ignore or disobey! But because there was an explanation of possible damage with that second sign, I did not follow too closely. I did not want to risk a broken windshield and so I hung back, regardless of the impatient car behind me!
In today’s verse there is a warning that motivates us to be wise in choosing our friends. There is an explanation that encourages prudence in who we allow to become close. A righteous person will take care not to associate with the wicked. For even a righteous person can be influenced by a friend to participate in evil. One can feel pressured to compromise morals and standards. The pull can be subtle or progressive and barely noticed. Friendship effects and impacts our character sometimes without us even realizing it! This is why it was so important for the Israelites not to marry foreigners who did not worship the one and true God. They could be easily led away from Him.
I would like to think that my faith is so strong that I would never be influenced to do evil by someone wicked. But if I were to become close friends with someone who does not have the same goal of living for the Lord, I could be gradually pulled away and faith could weaken. Close friends have an enormous influence on my thinking. They can encourage my faith or weaken it! I want to choose carefully who I follow!
Lord, keep me closest to those close to You!