Proverbs 12:26 The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray.
You don’t have to die to go to hell. Just ask long-term meth addicts how much misery, grief, and hurt they live with daily. Yes, a lot of their misery is self-inflicted, but still, their lives are a living hell and full of hurt. Ask a battered wife who is trying to escape ever-increasing brutality upon herself and her children if she thinks hell could be worse than what she is going through. There are hell holes on this earth where war is manufactured year after year, displacing families to suffer want and need. The provocateurs of these wars have no qualms sacrificing their children in the name of a just war, or as repulsive as this sounds, “A holy war.” There are hurting people all over the world, and no one but God can bring relief to the sharp edge of pain these people live with daily.
We do not have to look far to realize that many people were led astray by friends and family. We can look to our past and see how we were influenced by people who knew better but chose to hurt us anyway. Hurt people will hurt other people, so we have to create boundaries within relationships. There would not be so much pain in life if people chose their friends with care and discernment as the proverb says. Prov. 12:26 The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray. Many friendships are toxic, resulting in the blind leading the blind into addictions, self-harm, and mayhem, resulting in unnecessary hurts in people’s lives.
It would be nice if there was a vaccine to immunize ourselves against those who are perfidious in relations, angry with life, and outright foolish in choices causing so much hurt in this world. For me, the word of the Lord is the immunizing protection that shields me from those who hurt others because of the human condition. I can walk in peace and discern the times I am living in by the leading of God’s Word. Hopefully, this will also give me insight into other people’s pain who are hurting all around me. God says to choose our friends carefully so that we can take care of each other and not be led astray during crazy and unstable times.
There are seven things God hates and they are listed in Proverbs 6:16-19. We who are in Christ, should not be causing strife, conflict, trouble, or discord among our brothers and sisters in the Lord. This is an abomination to our Heavenly Father because He hates this sin. Prov. 6:19 A false witness who declares lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers. The sharp edge of hurt is harder to get through and forgive those who caused it when the violation comes from someone in our Christian family, rather than the onslaught of hurts that come from those in the world. We expect the people of the world to react from a position of being lost, but not those we fellowship with. The Psalmist was wrestling with the same emotions and pain. Psalm 55:12 Now it is not an enemy who insults me — otherwise I could bear it; it is not a foe who rises up against me — otherwise I could hide from him. 12 But it is you, a man who is my peer, my companion and good friend!
Jephthah was rejected by his half-brothers because Jephthah’s family lineage was not perfect. Jdg. 11:1 Jephthah the Gileadite was a valiant warrior, but he was the son of a prostitute, and Gilead was his father. 2 Gilead’s wife bore him sons, and when they grew up, they drove Jephthah out and said to him, “You will have no inheritance in our father’s family, because you are the son of another woman.” Years later, when Israel was skirmishing with the Ammonites, the sons of Gilead came looking for Jephthah’s help. Even though time had passed, Jephthah was still hurt by the family’s rejection. Jdg. 11:7 Jephthah replied to the elders of Gilead, “Didn’t you hate me and drive me out of my father’s family? Why then have you come to me now when you’re in trouble? ”
There is enough hurt and pain in the world without those of us who walk in Christ causing the same problems that worldly people create through their ignorance. The unsaved population has an excuse for their actions and sinful nature, as they have not accepted the redemptive saving grace of the Lord. However, those of us who are under God’s grace because we have accepted Christ as Lord should be circumspect when it comes to taking part in causing pain and suffering in a fallen world. Let us be the righteous friends that others have carefully chosen. Let us be the reason people find peace and safety in their lives. Prov. 18:24b But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. To lash out and hurt another person is easy, but to extend a hand of healing, is a divine gift from our God. Blessings.