Following Peers too Closely

In my observation, people most often pay attention to:

  • Authority figures
  • People who love them
  • Peers

Many people, myself included, are prone to overconfidence. To compound this weakness, we tend to be comfortable with our peers. Therefore, as groups, we can easily go astray. This is not to say that peer relationships cannot be of great benefit! Iron does sharpen iron. (Proverbs 27:17)

However, I want to avoid pitfalls. As I look into the Bible, I see that one of God’s principles to offset this tendency is to not follow peers too closely. When you live inside an echo-chamber, you miss out on the benefit of additional, wise perspectives.

Pay Attention to Older Godly People

The hoary head is a crown of glory, If it be found in the way of righteousness. Proverbs 16:31

When peers are followed too closely, it is easy to ignore older people who could guide you past their mistakes. Peers speculate about the future of their lives, elders reflect on past experiences. There is a wealth of wisdom available, just ask.

Build Strong Relationships with Other Generations

Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren; the elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity. 1 Timothy 5:1-2

It seems that people tend to become stratified. Teens hang out with teens. Older people talk to older people. Parents with kids spend time with other parents. There is immense value in also building relationships with those in other generations. It just takes courage and humility.

Learn to Draw Out Wisdom

Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; But a man of understanding will draw it out. Proverbs 20:5

Conversation is an art and a skill. With practice, it can be developed. By genuine interest and proper questions, you can have a great conversation with anyone. The practice of good conversation is vital with wise people. They have learned to use their words sparingly.

In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: But he that refraineth his lips is wise. Proverbs 10:19

So What?

  • Beware of following peers too closely
  • Recognize that your peers are on the same journey
  • Seek out wisdom beyond your place in life
  • Learn to draw wisdom out of wise people

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