S102P6 – Simmer down now: a contagious condition

Pro. 22:24-25

Make no friends with an angry man, and with a furious man do not go. Lest you learn his ways and set a snare for your soul.

It took only one of them to set off the rest.  There was a clear leader in the bunch, and the others really just wanted to be like him.  These were the guys whose bad side everyone tried to avoid.  Having a problem with one of them meant having a problem with all of them.  When we were just kids, that had not been the case.  As the leader of the bunch grew, he became an angry young man.  His friends, who had not started on the same trajectory, began to emulate him as the example to follow.  Before we knew it, some really nice kids became mean and angry, and they were like this all the time.  They fed off each other, and the more time they spent together, the more destructive their lives became.

An angry person among the peaceful is like a rotten apple in the middle of the bushel.  Without some kind of intervention, that spoiled piece of fruit will begin to spoil the fruit neighboring it.  That fruit, in turn, will spoil more fruit until none of the crop is good.  In my experience, angry people gravitate toward angry people because they are driven by that negative energy.  Quiet and stillness do not give them what they are looking for, but controversy and drama surely do.  If the peaceful are not careful, they can be drawn into the drama and start to be influenced in a negative way.  This is why it is so important to be careful about whom we allow to get close to us and speak into our lives.  Some will help us bring forth life while others will only bring death.

Friendship is something the Christian must navigate carefully.  We can have acquaintances in the world who we work to influence for the kingdom, and there is no other way to reach the world.  We must interact with and engage them on a personal level.  However, friendship is something altogether more serious.  We must be selective about whom we allow to occupy the position of “friend”.  The one who operates in anger and fury as his or her default is not one with whom we can share friendship because that can be a detriment to our spiritual walk.  It is a matter of who we follow and who we allow to influence us.  Father, give us the discernment to know when we must keep our distance from those who live by anger instead of love and peace.