It is very difficult to deeply immerse yourself in the world and expect to live a godly life. It is important to spend time in good company because these people will help you to “keep your feet on the tried-and-true paths.” Hang around those with integrity, those who are honest, those who will help build you up and equip you, those who know and love God and who are devoted to studying God’s Word and who regularly worship the Lord.
When you spend a lot of time in bad company, it wears off on you to the point no one can tell the difference between you and the worldly. Imagine a cup of water. The cup of water represents the godly life. The water is clear. However, if you take a tea bag (bad company) and dip it in the water, slowly the water changes color and taste. Little by little, you can add more tea bags or simply allow the tea to soak through the bag in time. The water changes. It’s no longer water. It’s tea. It is the same way with bad company.
We are to interact with sinners, to spend time with sinners. Each of us is in fact a sinner. Plus, if we were to isolate ourselves after being saved, then how would the Gospel be shared? Still, we all need a great community of godly friends to walk with us through life. I thank God for my mentors, my friends, my good company. They have helped to strengthen me, to pray for me, to point me in the right direction, to share Scripture, to comfort, to encourage. Join the company of good men and women.
“So—join the company of good men and women,
keep your feet on the tried-and-true paths.
It’s the men who walk straight who will settle this land,
the women with integrity who will last here.
The corrupt will lose their lives;
the dishonest will be gone for good.”
-Proverbs 2:20-22 [MSG]
Do you have different clothing you wear to different places? Perhaps you have “work clothes” or a work uniform to wear when on the job. Maybe you have gym clothing to use when working out. I even have “laundry clothing,” which is clothing I wear when doing the laundry.
In Isaiah 52, it speaks about putting on “beautiful clothes.” There is the command to “clothe yourself with strength” and to “put on your beautiful clothes.” So how do you clothe yourself with strength? It’s more than just eating your whole grain cereal in the morning. And what exactly are beautiful clothes?
Strength—clothing yourself with the armor of God. Your strength comes from Christ. Beautiful clothes—clothing yourself with holy, royal garments. Remember you are a child of God. Remember you are the bride of Christ. Today when you walk out the door, be sure to clothe yourself with strength and wear your beautiful clothes.
“Wake up, wake up, O Zion! Clothe yourself with strength. Put on your beautiful clothes, O holy city of Jerusalem, for unclean and godless people will enter your gates no longer.” – Isaiah 52:1 [NLT]
Words are powerful. I learned that at a very young age. I grew up writing and realized how much power there was in the words my hand penned. Even today as I am typing these words into my laptop, I understand their power. I know how God can use them if only I allow Him to use me and the talents He has given me.
The proverb for today says that “words of the godly are a life-giving fountain.” What a beautiful description. The term “life-giving fountain” is found in the Book of Proverbs in other areas. The fear of the Lord is a life-giving fountain (Proverbs 14:27). The instruction of the wise is a life-giving fountain (Proverbs 13:14). Discretion is a life-giving fountain (Proverbs 16:22). To consider the words of the godly as life-giving, one can easily agree that positive words build up and encourage, while negative ones do the opposite. We can take this a step further. A friend of mine always says to “speak life” onto people.
How do you “speak life” onto your life and others? You believe in the promises of God. You trust Him and His Word. You “speak life” upon the situation, knowing that He can deliver. He can restore. Through Him you can overcome. This is the best description I have for a “life-giving fountain.” Start speaking to people like Jesus spoke to people—He spoke to Zacchaeus as the man He knew Zacchaeus could be, not as one pushing someone downward for being a tax collector. God renamed Jacob Israel which was a life-giving fountain. Jacob the deceiver was no longer—Israel the man who prevails with God from then onward. Speak life today.
“The words of the godly are a life-giving fountain; the words of the wicked conceal violent intentions.” – Proverbs 10:11 [NLT]
The other morning when I woke up, I could not yet see because it was rather dark. I ended up walking right into the corner of the door (which had slightly closed through the night) and I hurt my toe. This was not the first time this happened, but last time my head took the brunt of the injury. I am always a bit of a klutz. Sadly, you have to really pay attention when walking in the town I live because there are many pavements that are not smooth and it is easy to trip. I found that out long ago and have some scars for proof.
Today’s verse declares that those people who have integrity “walk safely” while those who do not “slip and fall.” A person with integrity is honest. A person with integrity lives with strong moral principles. Honor. Good character. These things can be said of a person with integrity. If a person is full of lies, or even one big lie, they eventually “slip and fall.” The truth always comes out. But a man with integrity always will “walk safely” because there is no way for him to fall. He’s already living in the truth.
We all can name a person who fell, a person who was found to be involved in a bad situation, a crime, a scandal, etc. We remember how they all fell. We also can remember how we have fallen at times. Thankfully we have a Father who has forgiven us of all the crooked paths we have taken in life. We simply need to believe in Him and walk with Him with integrity. It will be a safe walk—the safest walk!
“People with integrity walk safely, but those who follow crooked paths will slip and fall.” – Proverbs 10:9 [NLT]