On the Run
Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. Proverbs 13:20
I attend multiple recovery/accountability meetings each week. I’ve found it necessary for both my faith and recovery to surround myself with those who are going in the direction that I want to go. These groups have their regulars, who are faithful in attendance. Whenever a regular misses for a few weeks in a row, everyone starts to worry. Is he on the run?
I’ve been there. I’ve been in such a group before, when I suddenly found 10 weeks’ worth of excuses to miss. I had relapsed and simply didn’t want to face anyone who might ask me how I was doing. I was a fool, on the run, avoiding the wisdom of good friends.
Today’s passage speaks to this principle. We tend to be pulled in the direction of those with whom we surround ourselves. If we spend our time with friends who are eating healthy and exercising, it’s likely to rub off on us. If we spend our time with friends at the donut shop, that’s likely to have the opposite effect.
We were created to live in community and that community naturally has some impact on us. We must use this principle for our own growth. Often though, in our destructive behavior, we either avoid community (I can’t go to church like this) or we surround ourselves with those who endorse our destructive behavior. Misery loves company.
In faith and recovery, we must regularly meet with those who are going in the direction we need to go. We may even need to abandon certain relationships. This requires significant, structural change to our routines and schedules. Often though, we remain unwilling to make this change. I can do this on my own. I don’t need to get crazy and start going to Bible studies or recovery meetings.
Whether or not we will actually change though, depends on whether we are willing to make any changes or not. It is often only when we obey, abandoning self and following God, that he works in us. This often happens only in community with others who are doing the same.