Your Angry Acquaintance
Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man you shall not go: Lest you learn his ways; and get a snare to your soul. — Proverbs 22:24-25
How should you respond when you become acquainted with an angry man? Should you make friends with this furious man? The danger of this relationship and so many other relationships is explained in verse 25. The fact is, we tend to adopt the values of the people that we associate with. Stay around this man for long, and you will begin to think the way he thinks. The result: you too will find your soul in a trap, just like he does! If you really want to get frustrated, then learn to think like this furious man.
Renewing the Mind
These verses highlight the importance of renewing the mind. We would all like to believe that our thinking doesn’t change, but the fact is that it changes constantly. We are constantly listening to others and evaluating their ideas. We tacitly accept the ideas that we tolerate, while rejecting the others. Scripture passages such as Romans 12:1-2 make it plain that we are in danger of “being conformed” or pressed into the mold of the views of those around us. This is why the Christian must renew his mind with the Scripture; your thinking doesn’t remain static; it changes constantly. As a Christian, you have a golden opportunity each day — you can renew your mind with the Glory of God. (2 Corinthians 3:18).
When I was a youth pastor, parents used to express the wish for “positive peer pressure” for their own teens. They thought that if other teens would pressure their teens to do right, then they would do right. When someone expressed this opinion to me, I usually responded that if someone could be pressured to do right then they could also be pressured to do wrong. My appeal has been the same for years: teach your teen how to renew his mind with the Scripture. Do this in your family devotions and even in your own casual conversation. In so doing, you are placing values that will not be easily dislodged. Teach your children how to find friends and what to avoid in acquaintances. Teach them the danger of adopting the wrong values of others.
Pastor Gordon Dickson, Calvary Baptist Church, Findlay, Ohio