Originally published Monday, 14 July 2014.
Do you sense that God may be leading you to surround yourself with Christian friends? If so, I will tell you that it wouldn’t be a coincidence. Second Corinthians 6:14-15 says, “Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can goodness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ with the Devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever?” So many questions, right? But look what else God says in verses 16-17, “I will live in them and walk among them, I will be their God, and they will be my people. Therefore, come out from among them and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord. Don’t touch their filthy things and I will welcome you.” (NLT)
Wow! Pretty loaded, right? I know…another question. But I hope you’re catching the hint by now. And if so, then I believe that you’re not reading this post by chance. God is calling you higher. And in that case, if you want to go to the next level in Him, then you will have to let go of those worldly friendships that will only weigh you down and ruin your effectiveness for the kingdom. First Corinthians 15:33 warns us, “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’” (NIV)
So if you’re hanging out with the wrong crowd consistently, then others are going to associate you to be that way as well. Meaning, if they’re all cursing, drinking, and you’re laughing at their nasty, coarse jokes, but you just finished telling someone that you had a great time at Women’s Bible Study; as a born-again Christian, it may look like it’s an oxymoron or that you’re being a hypocrite. The Bible tells us to “abstain from all appearance of evil” in 1 Thessalonians 5:22 and Ephesians 5:3-4 says, “Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among Gods people. Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes-these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God.” (NLT)
I get it! I know that for some people reading this, it will be a hard pill to swallow. Why? Because some have been friends since high school or college! But that’s when I would have to ask, “What’s more important? What God’s Word says or your friends?” I can honestly tell you, I chose God’s Word.
The Word of God is really our roadmap to living a life that pleases God and to heaven. Don’t let anyone deceive you and tell you otherwise. I’ll also add that the key is obeying it. Keep in mind, the devil knows the Bible back and forward, but he has no intentions on living it out or obeying it.
I know this post has a lot of questions being raised, but this is what the Lord impressed upon my heart to share this week. He wants you to examine your current relationships. Granted, if you already have healthy godly friendships, I think that’s awesome! Keep it going strong and let iron sharpen iron (See Proverbs 27:17). However, if you don’t, then I would ask you to really consider the questions being asked here, and do a thorough heart check and examination as it relates to your friendships.
Are they godly or worldly? Take inventory of your conversations and the places you frequent. Is it filled with gossip, slander, sex, adultery, greed, hate, unforgiveness, bitterness, or coarse joking on a consistent basis? Are you hanging out at the clubs, gambling at casinos or gas stations, or hanging out at wild parties? If so, then I think you need to either talk to your friend about changing, or cut the ties. This also goes for friends who say that they’re Christians, but you find them indulging in these same things and wanting you to engage in them as well. That’s not good either, because that’s what the Bible means when it talks about a person being wicked.
Now, I’m not saying, be cruel, mean, or downright rude to your friends, because that’s not being Christ-like. You can still be cordial, kind, and talk to them every now and then. But I am saying take a stand for righteousness, and watch your association with them. Remember, bad company corrupts good character. And trust me. They may not understand what you’re doing right off, but they’ll understand later. First Peter 4:4-5 says, “Of course, your former friends are very surprised when you no longer join them in the wicked things they do, and they will say evil things about you. But just remember that they will have to face God, who will judge everyone, both the living and the dead. (NLT) Keep in mind, Jesus visited sinners to help them, but He didn’t hang out with them or partake in their sin. There’s a big difference.
Therefore, brace yourself, be strong, you can do it. Because when you live for Christ wholeheartedly and are willing to surrender the things of this world to please the Lord, you’ll be amazed at the outcome and the peace that you’ll experience in your heart. And in reality, you’ll be helping your friends in the long run.
So, how can you find new friends? You can meet and make new Christian friends at church, a Christian fellowship, through a friend or family member, at work, school, even on Facebook. I encourage you to pray about it. God is faithful to bring you that faithful friend! I know from experience, and I will tell you, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love my Christian friends! It’s time to take a stand, sis. I’m praying for you.
Remember, Jesus is coming back soon! And those who endure unto the end shall be saved. So let’s be ready from the Inside Out!
*If you have any questions or need help on this one, leave a comment here and I’ll answer promptly. Or you can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for reading! I hope and pray that you’ve been enlightened from this post. Feel absolutely free to leave a comment or for questions you can email me directly at email@example.com, and I will respond promptly. Also, tune in every Monday at 7:30am for new posts! Don’t forget to “Like” my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/InsideOutWCourtnaye) and share this blog with friends, family, co-workers, or your women’s group or ministry. I’d love to stay connected and help more women grow in the Lord! Thanks again and may God be with you!