“Don’t envy bad people; don’t even want to be around them. All they think about is causing a disturbance; all they talk about is making trouble.” Proverbs 24:1-2

It’s easy to read this passage of scripture and instantly think “bad” is referring to murderous thieves and gangster thugs. But that’s not wisdom. That’s just common sense. Side note: Jesus would never call murderous thieves and gangster thugs bad either…. but for the sake of this devotional you know what I’m saying.

So let’s dig a little deeper and define bad.

Substandard.
Unsatisfactory.
Inadequate.
Unacceptable.

When we apply these words to that opening verse, it challenges each of us to consider the people we look up to, the people we admire, the people we hang out with, and the people we want to be like.

Don’t be caught up in the ways of this world… always chasing, striving, aiming, achieving, while forgetting and foregoing the greater purpose. Don’t envy such people.

Don’t be caught up in chaos and busyness, money and power, perfection and performance, stuff, stuff and more stuff. Don’t envy such people

But on the flip, the people who appear good can sometimes be the worst of all.

Christians who constantly complain and criticize other Christians, Christians who live in a victim state of self-pity and woe is me, Christians who live complacent lives of religiosity and unfruitfulness, Christians who suck the life out of you and they aren’t even aware. Don’t envy such people.

Even more harshly, Proverbs is telling us to not even be around these people. (unless He has specifically placed that person in your life for you to mentor and witness to).

Why? Because…

A foolish life will always disturb a peaceful condition, but a wise life will always peacefully disturb. See the difference?

Wisdom calls each of us to live lives of the latter and the only way to live these kinds of lives is to be around people with a similar passion and desire for wisdom.

As we enter into a weekend of socializing, be wise, friends, and choose your friends wisely.

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With a million things to do and not enough hours in the day to get it done, it's easy to zone out and slip into autopilot in order to survive. But perhaps life is not about adding more things to your already lengthy list, but rather, about pausing in the midst of it all to consider if what you're doing is really important.