There is a danger in choosing foolish friends, for the one who befriends a fool will end a fool, and this with injury. Jesus said, “Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand” (Matt 7:26). Dwight Pentecost states, “A fool is not necessarily one who is marked by a low IQ but one who leaves God out of his consciousness…The fool is the man who does not take God into consideration in every area of his life.” Merrill F. Unger adds, “The ‘fool’ is not so much one lacking in mental powers, as one who misuses them; not one who does not reason, but reasons wrongly. In Scripture the ‘fool’ primarily is the person who casts off the fear of God and thinks and acts as if he could safely disregard the eternal principles of God’s righteousness (Psa 14:1; Prov 14:9; Jer 17:11; etc.).”
The psalmist also wrote, “I am a companion of all those who fear You, and of those who keep Your precepts” (Psa 119:63). Allen Ross writes, “The psalmist’s loyalty to the LORD also finds expression in his association with other believers—he is a companion (חָבֵר) to all who fear the LORD, meaning those who keep his commandments. The tie that binds the devout together is the commitment to keep God’s commands.” And Charles Spurgeon adds, “We can hardly hope to be right in the future unless we are right now. The holy man spent his nights with God and his days with God’s people. Those who fear God love those who fear him, and they make small choice in their company so long as the men are truly God-fearing.”
In the New Testament we learn about the good choices Christians were making as they “were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:42). The words continually devoting themselves translates the Greek word προσκαρτερέω proskartereo, which denotes steadfast commitment and constant devotion. The two things these Christians were constantly devoted to were: 1) the apostle’s teaching, and 2) fellowship with other believers (which included a time of meals and prayer). Here is wisdom.
Christians are to live righteously, as this is consistent with our identity in Christ. The apostle Paul implores us “to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love” (Eph 4:1-2). Here, our pattern of behavior should mirror our position in Christ. Paul uses similar language when he writes, “You were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light; for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth, trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord” (Eph 5:6-10). Since we are called to such a high standard of living, it’s very important that we choose our friends carefully, to make sure there is mutual interest in walking with God and living as He directs.
Close relationships should be developed over time, only as we get to know others, hearing their words and watching their ways, and feeling confident they are among the faithful righteous. Some of the characteristics of a righteous person include:
- A commitment to learning God’s Word (Psa 1:1-2; Acts 2:42; Rom 6:17).
- Submitting to God’s will (Rom 12:1-2; Jam 1:22).
- Confessing sin to God daily (1 John 1:9).
- Displaying Christian love (John 13:34; Rom 13:8; 1 Th 4:9; 1 Cor 13:4-8a).
- Seeking to glorify God (1 Cor 10:31).
- Living by faith in order to please the Lord (Heb 10:38; 11:6; 2 Cor 5:9).
- Speaking biblical truth in love (Eph 4:15, 25).
- Modeling humility, gentleness, patience, tolerance and peace (Eph 4:1-3).
- Being forgiving (Matt 18:21-22).
- Doing good (Gal 6:10).
- Encouraging other believers to do good (Heb 10:24).
- Desiring fellowship with growing believers (Heb 10:25).
- Praying for others (1 Th 5:17; 2 Th 1:11; Jam 5:16).
- Building others up in the Lord (1 Th 5:11).
- Being devoted to fellow believers (Rom 12:10).
Choose the righteous life, and choose your friends wisely.
Dr. Steven R. Cook
- The Gospel Explained
- Walking with God
- Knowing and Doing the Will of God
- The High Calling of God’s Servant
- Commitment Love
- Love Your Enemies
- A Divided World Until Christ Returns
- The Armor of God
- The Life of Faith
- Reasons Why We Obey God
- The Righteousness of God
- The Righteous Lifestyle of the Believer
- Theological Categories of God’s Justice
- Choosing the Faithful Way
- What it Means to Follow Jesus
- What Does it Mean to Be a Man?
- Proverbs 31 – Snapshot of an Excellent Woman
 William D. Mounce, Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old & New Testament Words (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2006), 924.
 J. Dwight Pentecost, Designed to Be Like Him: Understanding God’s Plan for Fellowship, Conduct, Conflict, and Maturity (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2001), 55.
 Merrill Frederick Unger, R. K. Harrison, Howard Frederic Vos et al., “Fool”, The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary, (Chicago: Moody Press, 1988).
 Allen P. Ross, A Commentary on the Psalms (90–150): Commentary, vol. 3, Kregel Exegetical Library (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Academic, 2016), 519.
 C. H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of David: Psalms 111-119, vol. 5 (London; Edinburgh; New York: Marshall Brothers, n.d.), 257.