This was good advice since we often get in trouble with our immature friends. So I was always looking for wise men to be around.
I remember asking, “When do you become someone wise enough for others to be around?” I didn’t get an answer. Most of my time with him I spent practicing Proverbs 17:28: “Even a fool when he holds his peace, is counted wise.” I listened to countless discussions with those considered great by this world. I learned they didn’t have answers.
Surrounding yourself with the unwise does indeed cause considerable damage. Solomon’s son Rehoboam rejected the advice of his wise counselors and took the advice of his younger friends. The story is related in 1 Kings 12. The wise men said he should be a servant and be kind to his people. If he did that, they would serve him forever. His young friends advised him to be tougher than his father and demand more to prove he was king.
Choosing the wrong advice cost him most of his kingdom, as 10 of the 12 tribes of Israel deserted him and made Jeroboam king. In doing so they split the magnificent nation, which his grandfather David and father Solomon had built (with God’s blessing) into perhaps the wealthiest nation on earth at the time.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10). Those fortunate enough to have the knowledge and proper fear of God are far ahead of those without this advantage. I consider it a great blessing to have been raised in the Church; to have always been taught about God and Jesus Christ. I have had the privilege to raise my son and daughter with this same knowledge and to share many of life’s eternal truths with others.
The deadline for this article was Jan. 16—the 27th anniversary of the death of my closest friend and sage, Herbert Armstrong. He was part of my life for as long as I can remember. I thank God he was willing to listen as God him gave biblical understanding and motivated many of us to also pass to others the truth of God’s Word.
How would I answer my own question—“When do you become someone wise enough for others to be around?” When you know the truth of God and follow his laws, you have something very worthwhile to share with the people around you in the way you live your life. With this knowledge and following this way, you become someone wise enough to be around.