Recently, in my weekly Bible study class, someone asked, “How can I know God’s path? How can I be positive which path He wants me to take?” It is a question that has been filled the hearts and minds of Christians in every generation. Every age and throughout the world. We want to know not only God’s heart but also His specific way for us. We need wisdom. Thankfully, God’s word promises us wisdom if we will seek for it. His very desire is for us to know – not to keep us in the dark or constantly guessing. How then do we gain wisdom?
The answers to that question would fill multiple posts. Of course, we ask for it. Seek for it in His word and through prayer. But my heart has been focused on one particular thing I believe can be overlooked when looking for and desiring God’s wisdom, and that is to associate with wise people.
I came across this quote. It is by T.B. Joshua, who I am not familiar with, but I thought the quote worth sharing.
“You are who you are by virtue of the company you keep.”
It mimics words my mother told me so many times as I growing up and the same words I repeated to my own children. And whether we are in grade school, are raising children of our own or, like me, are already empty nesters….the truth still applies. Who we associate with matters. Yes, we love the lost. We reach out to the world and show them Jesus. I’m certainly not suggesting otherwise; but who are our friends? Our inner circle? Here are three types of friends all of us need to seek out.
Someone maturer. We gain wisdom from those who have traveled the road before us. These women may be more mature in age or from experience – or both. But the wisdom these type of ladies can share is invaluable. We tend to gather with those who are on the same path, or in the same season, as we are. Moms with young pre-schoolers, for example, typically socialize with other moms – which is fun and profitable. Most of us choose our friends in the same way. But we should be careful to include time with not only older, but more experienced, ladies.
As well, we all need a good relationship with at least one women who is more spiritually mature. She may or may not have been a Christian for years longer than you but, for sure, she is deeper, more grounded and spiritually stronger than you. That friend’s worth is more valuable than rubies!
Someone who knows you well. Casual friends are great. Time spent with them is fun. But we all need at least one friend who knows the “real” us. Someone with whom we can share prayer requests – and we know will pray for us. Someone who allows us to be vulnerable. She does not judge but is also willing to be honest – call us out, if necessary, sincerely encouraging us in our walk with Christ. This type of friendship requires time and commitment and is not always easy to find. If you have such a friend, thank the Lord. If not – tell the Lord about your desire for such a friend.
A senior friend. Not necessarily the more mature friend I mentioned before – although she could be. And what a joy that would be! A senior friend does not even particularly have to be a believer. I have often mentioned the times I spend at a local assisted living facility…the joy of spending a simple afternoon playing UNO. The real delight is talking with these seniors. Listening to their stories. Their advice and soaking in the wisdom that comes from years of living and decades of experiencing life. There is so much wisdom to gain from senior citizen friends. (I never include photos of myself but the one above is from yesterday afternoon – and another special time spent with my senior friends. What a blessing!)
In this day of social media circles and coffee date friendships, it is easy to be content with casual friends. But if our desire is wisdom – to know more about God and to know God more – we need to actively and purposefully seek out wise women. Nurture these friendships. And thank God daily for the friendships we already have that encourage us in our faith.