"You tell on yourself by the friends you choose."
King Jehoshaphat wanted to consult the LORD. He asked his servants to find him a prophet of God. One servant replied, "Elisha is around here--the one who was Elijah's right-hand man."
"Good! A man we can trust!" was Jehoshaphat's response.
And just like that, Elisha was ushered in. And really, Elisha's "in" was his association with Elijah. He was pre-trusted because of his connection to one who was known to be a man of God (2 Kings 3).
What do our associations say about us? And the company we choose to keep--what will others know about us based on those with whom we choose to spend our time?
We've been talking about this with our son lately as he navigates his way through friendships at school. We've said that he is to be kind to all and unkind to no one--but that he can--and should--exercise wisdom in choosing friends with whom he will truly connect himself. We're trying to help him figure out the elementary school version of walking with the wise.
And it's true, isn't it? Right or wrong, people make assumptions about us based on the character of those with whom we choose to surround ourselves. On Twitter when I'm figuring out whether or not to follow someone I don't know, I often look to their associations. Who follows them? Who are they following? There are times I follow because I trust their associations, and times I don't because I don't.
"He who walks with the wise grows wise, but the companion of fools suffers harm" (Proverbs 13:20). Those are two opposite-extremes outcomes! Growing wise because you've chosen to walk alongside those with wisdom--or suffering harm because of associations with those who choose folly. Opposite ends of the spectrum, for sure.
So based on your current friendships, are you destined to grow in wisdom, or to suffer harm? I'm not asking what you'd prefer to happen; We'd all choose to grow in wisdom, hands down. But based on your current connections and associations, can others assume you can be trusted? Can wisdom be your expected outcome?
Or should you anticipate being hit by the shrapnel of folly because you're standing way too close to fools?