Proverbs 22:24–25 (CSB)
24 Don’t make friends with an angry person,
and don’t be a companion of a hot-tempered one,
25 or you will learn his ways
and entangle yourself in a snare.
It is very important that we make sure to guard ourselves in many situations, none more so than who we decide to spend our time. It is easy to fall into the trap of trying to be friends with everyone, after all, they all need Jesus. However, we must guard our hearts from the wicked ways of some. So, how do we avoid the angry and hot-tempered and still spread the Gospel to everyone?
Avoid Bad Company
It is important to fully understand why we must avoid friendship with the angry and hot-tempered and 1 Corinthians 15:33 further demonstrates this… (33) Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.”
We must be those that surround ourselves with friends that are going to help us establish good morals. The point here is not that we would avoid bad company altogether, it is more to say that we should avoid spending large amounts of time with them. I remember when I was young, I was a pretty good kid, but easily corrupted. There was a very clear difference when I would spend a lot of time with certain individuals, the way I spoke would even change. While it is important to avoid making friends with these types of people, we must still love them.
Love One Another
1 John 4:7 reminds us… (7) Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God… The angry and hot-tempered one has just lost his or her way in life. While it is true that we should not spend large amounts of time with them, we must still love them. We must love them enough to impact their lives for Christ. We are told that God wants everyone to come to a saving knowledge of Christ, even the angry person.
A New Creation
2 Corinthians 5:17 promises… (17) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come… How do we become friends with the angry and hot-tempered? Allow Christ to make them a new creation!
We must guard our hearts in this turbulent life, but we must do so in love. Avoiding friendship with those with less than desirable character is not a license to avoid them altogether. Look at the many individuals you surround yourself with right now, many of them may have been that angry person before Christ, many were drunkards, many were complete heathens, but God can change the wicked and make straight their path. Instead of avoiding the lost completely, love them enough to give your testimony, show them what Christ has done in your life… it may just change their outlook!
1 John 4:19 (CSB)
19 We love because he first loved us.