Proverbs 13:20-23

The one who associates with the wise grows wise,
but a companion of fools suffers harm.
Calamity pursues sinners,
but prosperity rewards the righteous.
A benevolent person leaves an inheritance for his grandchildren,
but the wealth of a sinner is stored up for the righteous.
There is abundant food in the field of the poor,
but it is swept away by injustice.

This is one of my favorite proverbs of all. Partly because there’s an awesome, albeit out dated, Steven Curtis Chapman song that talks about the concept. Regardless, the point is one that is so simple, yet so profound. In fact, the lyrics are so great, I thought I’d share them as part of today’s post:

I prayed a prayer for wisdom just like a farmer prays for rain
‘Cause I know that I must have it to survive in this life
And I stared out in the distance ’cause it seemed so far away
And I waited for the lightning But the lightning and the thunder never came
So I took a look beside me to my left and to my right And saw people full of wisdom all around in my life
And it started to come clearer I began to understand
That my prayer was being answered, it’s all part of God’s plan

If we walk with the wise we will grow wise
If we walk in the light then our path will be bright I know
There’s someone who’s already been where we must go In the light of what they’ve learned we find
That we will grow wise if we walk with the wise

We ought to be more careful about this particular concept. We pray for God to give us wisdom, but then the people we surround ourselves with are bringing us down instead of lifting us up. As I see it there are three kinds of people we can surround ourselves with. Sure there are more than these, but these are the three.

Lifters, Drifters and Plungers.

The lifters raise us up. They know more than we do, they’ve walked in our shoes for longer than we have. They know how to respond to certain situations and can tell you what to expect after you get through this thing.

The drifters aren’t the worst kind of people. They don’t necessarily drag us down, but they don’t lift us up either. It’s a bunch of sideways energy, always running around, bouncing from one shiny object to another. Never getting anywhere, never even trying. They don’t drag us down, but they keep us from going up.

Then there are the plungers. The ones that are a bad influence and bring you down to their level. Even though you have the best intentions, over time, they wear you down and bring you down with them. You plunge to the depths of debauchery and despair. And recovery is almost impossible.

So, who are you walking with? Who are the people that have the influence in your life? Who are the ones who are directing your steps? Are they lifters, drifters or plungers?