“Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” Proverbs 13:20
I have had a large array of diverse friends in the past. In fact when I was in High School all of my friends were the “druggies.” I had a lot of stone-er friends that spent most of their down time smoking pot or doing any number of other drugs. As a teen, I only tried drugs twice because of peer pressure and lack of knowledge but my choice of addiction was alcohol. Everyone associated me with the drug crowd and I was known as a “druggie” just by being their friends.
I made some incredibly bad choices because of my circle of influence, causing my life to go down a really bad path.
It was not until I got my act together and got right with God that I made better choices. I became associated with the wise. People started seeing me in a different light, no longer a fool. I have relationships with people who make bad choices because it is my desire to help them change. The difference between then and now is that I live for God and work daily to please Him. No longer seen as a “druggie” and they still respect me. As a Christian, I do have to love them which can be done without looking like I am them. Christ, Himself, loved on tax collectors, murderers, thieves and lairs. He never made it look like He was a murder or a lair to do so.
I only walk with the wise now because I know that just as iron sharpens iron so they will sharpen me to glorify Him.