According to a 2013 New York Times study, you know about six hundred people. Put together your neighbors, family, friends, coworkers, church community, etc., and the average American ends up with just around six hundred people in their lives.
That number both excites and scares me because people have potential. One of those people could become your new best friend, your sponsor, your mentor, your boyfriend, or your wife. Or one of those people could be the person who takes you down the road of addiction, breaks your heart, or ends up as the “bad influence” your mother feared. People matter. And there are about six hundred of them waiting for you in the year to come.
So how do you deal with all those people? Here’s what the world’s wisest man once said: “The righteous choose their friends carefully” (Proverbs 12:26). Righteous people—those who are right with God and want to do the right thing—choose their friends carefully.
What does that mean? I will explain more in the devotions to come, but here’s the big picture: Stay away from fools (those who assume they will get away with sin consequence free). Look for wisdom among your acquaintances (people who inspire you with the way they worship, handle money, date, raise kids, etc.). Walk with the wise as often as you can (intentionalize time with the truly wise people God has placed in your life).
That’s what righteous people do. What will you do?