Nothing holds the power to negatively influence our faith more than the people we are close to. Friends can lift you up, while others drag you down faster than you ever thought possible. But when we come to the place where we see our sin for what it really is, we also see the importance of guarding our heart and protecting it from wear and tear.
Water appears to be weak and conformable when we cup it in the palm of our hand, and yet it has a force powerful enough to erode stone. In fact it’s the key element that formed the grand canyon. My point being that people, like elements, carve lasting imprints into our lives, and therefore we need to choose our friends wisely.
I understand that everyone needs love and deserves our respect, but it’s important when cultivating intimate relationships that we surround ourselves with people who will sharpen our faith rather than wearing it down.
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.
~ 2 Corinthians 6:14a
And if we are in fellowship with non believers, we might ask ourselves the questions:
- Is there a common interest we share that will glorify God?
- Does our friendship bring glory to God?
For what do righteousness and wickedness
have in common? Or what fellowship
can light have with darkness?
~ 2 Corinthians 6:14b
Don’t get me wrong here, we are called to go out into the world and preach the gospel, which means that we need to be friendly and hospitable in the process. That is a must. What I’m referring to are the most intimate relationships we hunger for, such as a best friend or if you are single–a husband. It’s important that we seek after people who will shine light on our faith rather than casting a shadow of doubt.
But that’s where faith comes in. Faith is based on God’s wisdom and doesn’t make sense to the world–it never has and never will. It’s about trusting in someone you don’t see and putting your will in His hands. Why? Because He deserves the glory.
For the preaching of the cross is to them
that perish foolishness; but unto us which
are saved it is the power of God.
~ 1 Corinthians 1:18, KJV
So, while Christians walk by the Spirit–which means they do things that are right, rather than that which “feels” right–the arguments against our way of thinking tend to make so much sense that they pull us right back into sin should we allow ourselves to fall.
A popular argument is, “God wants you to be happy…,” when the gospel truth is that God wants us to be saved. He wants us to experience joy and long-lasting peace that only comes through obedience to the Word.
Jesus didn’t choose happiness when he went to the cross, He chose obedience, because He knew the power of the resurrection and He knew that eternal salvation is so much better than temporal comfort.
With Good Friday soon approaching, I pray that we will preserve our heart and worship God with that same attitude of obedience that our savior did.
My son, attend to my words; incline thine
ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart
from thine eyes; keep them in the midst
of thine heart. For they are life unto those
that find them, and health to all their flesh.
Keep thy heart with all diligence;
for out of it are the issues of life.
~ Proverbs 4:20-23
You are loved by an almighty God,
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