At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Ps. 16: 11)
Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge.Proverbs 14:7
All sin is equally sinful, but not all sin is equally apparent. All folly is equally foolish, but not all folly is equally apparent. The Bible teaches us this plainly.
“Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after” (1 Tim. 5:24).
In this proverb, the one who would be wise is instructed to get out of the presence of a foolish man, just as soon as the folly becomes apparent. This assumes that the folly is not obvious from the start. Some who behave foolishly send off warning signals that enable others to avoid dealing with them entirely. It might be their bumper sticker or tee-shirt, or it might be something you heard them say at a Bible study. The subtext of whatever it was is “stay clear.”
But sometimes the danger that fools present is a danger with a long, slow fuse. There are some whose folly is not apparent until a particular kind of situation arises, or until you have been with them for a while. The instruction here is clear. As soon as you perceive that your acquaintance is not someone who speaks with the “lips of knowledge,” it is time to start preparing your exit.
Those who walk with the wise will be wise (Prov. 13:20), and those who consent to walk with fools have made the first fatal choice that will result in their descent into folly. That same proverb says that a companion of fools will be destroyed, which is kind of a strong way of putting it.
We are to love all men, whether they are wise or simple, godly or ungodly, friendly or hostile. We are under orders to love all men. But we are not to be friends or companions with fools. We are not to hang out with them. We may minister to them, we may witness to them. But if we settle in with them, the “evangelism” is running the other direction.