This chapter has a lot of connections to the company we keep. It is summarized in verse 20: walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble. The company we keep changes so much of how our lives go. It can change how we treat our parents (v.1), the words we hear (vv.2, 5), how hard we work (v.4), how honest we act (v.7). Most of all, this chapter has a lot of verses about accepting advice (vv.10, 13, 14, 15, 18) – and that advice needs to be coming from people who have wisdom, and know the Lord (the foundation of wisdom, see Prov 1:7). We need to be surrounded, and have our closest friends, be people who devotedly follow Christ.
That does not mean – and many Christians have made the mistake here – that all of our friends should be Christians. How could we fulfill the Great Commission (Matt 28:18-20; Acts 1:8) if we don’t really have friends who don’t know Jesus. These aren’t just people who know to “reach” for Christ, but these are friends whom we can really live life with, showing our love for God and for them at the same time. It is important (and imperative, actually) for us to make sure we have authentic, devoted Christians close in our lives, and that we also have people who are not Christians in our lives as well, so that we never lose God’s wisdom, or God’s heart for people.