Have you ever played the game “Follow the Leader?” I remember as a child parading around the room all mimicking the person at the front of the line. We would take turns. Some people were better leaders than others. I never wanted to be the leader. I was shy and unsure of myself. Why would people want to follow me? That was then. Now, it bothers me when I don’t have control. What changed? I have been walking with the wise.
Verse 20 spoke to me today. (As always, I encourage your comments if another verse spoke to you.) It says, “Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.” I can almost hear my mother’s voice reminding me “be careful who you associate with.” I remember being constantly on the look out to keep away from those “fools” who might get me in trouble. But then, I hit my teen years and a bit of rebellion burst forth. I didn’t get into serious trouble, thankfully, but I certainly wasn’t hanging out with a wise bunch all the time.
So, I’ve seen both sides. I know what it feels like to be running with the wrong crowd, as well as hanging with those who have a lot to offer. I choose the latter. It just makes sense. For those who want to enjoy life to the fullest and become the best version of themselves, it is more likely to happen when surrounded by people who can feed you rather than starve you. We’ve all been around people who seem to suck the life out of us. They would be the “fools” we are to avoid.
God gives us choices in our lives. We aren’t in a cage or on a leash. We have freedom to choose our friends and acquaintances. Look around at the people you spend the most time with. Would you say they are wise? Are you growing because of your associations with them? In the business world, we tend to want to associate with other successful business owners. It’s almost as if by merely being in their presence we can become successful, too.
You are a gift. Remember that. You have wisdom and experiences to share with others. People are looking for you because you are the wise one. You can help them be wise, too. In what ways can you position yourself today or this week to be more visible and ready to be the wise person someone else is looking to follow? It’s time to play a little “follow the leader!”
Let’s pray … Lord, thank you for the authority and gifts you have given me in different areas of my life, as well as the people I have followed that have helped me. I thank you, too, for how I continue to grow closer to you each day. May I be that expert or wise one that is able to pour into others. Give me the confidence I need to accept my own value. This world can be a scary place, and I ask you to lead me, go ahead and prepare each encounter. May I honor you in all I say and do and be a leader with a servant heart. In Jesus’ name. Amen.