He who walks with wise men is wise,
but a companion of fools suffers harm. Proverbs 13:20, TLV
Who we hang around with does affect us. To walk with someone is a purposeful act of relationship. We spend time with them—we share their lives. When we walk with a wise person, we can observe their behavior in unguarded moments and see a testimony of integrity and grace. This challenges us and gives us a practical demonstration of how to live out a life of wisdom.
On the other hand, being a companion of fools will ultimately bring us down to their level. No matter what our altruistic intention may have been–showing them how to live a righteous and wise life–a yoked relationship will affect us.
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness? Or what fellowship does light have with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14, TLV
We can be part of someone’s life without walking with someone–being yoked with them. If we want to share the Good News to the unredeemed, we’ll be a part of their lives, at least at certain moments. However allowing someone into our lives as confidants who are not redeemed will eventually pull us back into a life we left behind.
Are there people–even family–in our lives that are yet to be redeemed, or are redeemed and are living foolishly? Then be careful. Do they produce fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). Walk with them.
Or does their life include sexual immorality, impurity, indecency, idolatry, witchcraft, hostility, strife, jealousy, rage, selfish ambition, dissension, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, then watch how much time you “walk” with them. Because we are flesh, and that flesh doesn’t want to be controlled.
It won’t be easy to change a “yoked” relationship, but in the long run, it will be better for both parties. What do you think?