Running with the Wise

Written by Paul Chisholm (Colorado, USA)

Paul Chrisholm is a pastor of The Salvation Army in Fountain Valley, Colorado. Coming from a life on the streets, he has experienced God’s redemptive and transformative power. He loves to bring the Gospel message to all people, making disciples of all nations!

March 28, 2023

Proverbs 13:20 states

“Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.”  

This verse hit home more than ever last week.
A friend of mine on Facebook had said that he was looking for a group of guys to go running with last Saturday.
In an exciting moment I responded and said that I was willing to run with him.
Having recently been into weight training, I haven’t done much running, and thought it would be a great opportunity to stretch my legs again. 

When I arrived that morning, I was in shock to find out that I would be running with a bunch of professional runners.
When I asked how long and at what speed we would be running, they told me they were going to take it slow, at a nine-minute mile for five miles.
I was floored.
Completely embarrassed.
Even in my best shape, my fastest is a nine-and-a-half-minute mile.
Embarrassed, I told them I wouldn’t be able to run with them, due to being out of shape and unable to keep pace. 

That’s when my encouragement came, and two of the runners offered to run at my pace to give me encouragement and support. 
How true this is even in our Christian walk?
Believers for many years “run” at a fast pace, thinking their slow pace is normal for others. 

Scripture says however, “to walk with the wise and become wise.”
With that we must take caution.
Those of us who may consider ourselves “experienced” Christians need to remember to slow down for the new believer.
To take time from our busy lives to fellowship, encourage, and walk the path of faith with them.
When we surround ourselves with strong believers, we become better. 

Through the years of walking with Christ, we have learned, failed, struggled, accomplished and most of all gained wisdom from our life experiences influenced through the Holy Spirit.
We are the ones that the new believers are looking to for guidance, fellowship and most importantly, discipleship. 

We have something to give — our testimony.
No one can take your testimony from you, no one can say no it didn’t happen like that, it’s your testimony of God’s work in your life.
Through our trials and tribulations we have gained wisdom that needs to be imparted on a new generation of believers.
Don’t let the blind lead the blind, be an encouragement, be present and be available to the leading of the Holy Spirit. 

Yes, our lives are busy. 

Yes, our family needs us. 

Yes, God has blessed you and is growing you for the next stage in your life.

But, how can God continue to grow you in your faith, and in your walk, if you aren’t making time to help grow the new believer?
Jesus commanded us to go and make disciples of all nations.
May we slow down our pace, take time to encourage and walk with the new believers.

The new believer needs you just as much as your support group needs you.
If the two runners had not stopped and gone at my pace, I would have left, discouraged and downhearted.
How many people do we see accept Christ into their hearts and then walk away from the Church when times get tough?
When they don’t feel strong enough or well equipped to face the trials that we as believers face. 

Let us strive to live by the example I was blessed with, to take the time to slow down, and enjoy fellowship with others.

Prayer & Reflection

  • Is there someone in your life that God is reminding you right now?
    Ask of the Lord how you can be a blessing to him/her, to go at his/her pace, and to journey together.
  • Self-check: Are you still making disciples in this season of your life?
  • Give thanks to that someone who has been walking alongside with you during this season to allow you to grow at the pace that is conducive.

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