A righteous man is cautious in friendship,
but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Wait one second, aren't we supposed to love everyone? Aren’t we supposed to be kind to everyone and even pray for our enemies? If we're cautious in friendship, aren't we holding something back? Shouldn't we throw out our friendship to anyone and everyone that needs it like Mrs. Kappopoluos gave out Werther's caramels in seventh grade? She wasn't cautious. If you came into the principal's office you could grab a piece of candy from the bowl on her desk. It was right there for everyone. Shouldn't our friendship be like that?
Those are some of the thoughts that went through my head when I first read this verse, but the more I thought about it the more it made sense. It's not encouraging us to be jerks, it's challenging us to be wise in the way we share the gift of friendship. Because friendship is not a one way street. When you become a friend of someone, a true friend, you invite them to shape your life to a degree. You invite them to influence you and challenge you and impact you. And that’s a dangerous gift to be cavalier with. Proverbs 13:20 says that "He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm." Matthew 7:6 says "Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces."
Friendship is sacred and if you're not careful with it, you run the risk of being trampled.
Are you being cautious in who you give the gift of friendship to?