You Are Who Your Friends Are :: By Rita Peck

Jesus is right!

I shouldn’t be: surprised by that statement. However, the more I learn about Him the more I realize just how right He is─about everything. Take, for instance the negative influence non-believers can have on the life of a believer.

Have you ever noticed how quickly you pick-up on a sinful habit or how quickly you compromise your beliefs when you regularly associate with people who are not true Christians? When everyone around you uses curse words continually, those same words begin to slowly creep into your own vocabulary.

If you hang out with someone who drinks excessively, chances are very good that your consumption of alcohol will begin to increase also. Their immoral viewpoints and way of thinking, may, over time, become your viewpoints and way of thinking.

“Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?

Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols?

For we are the temple of the Living God; just as God said, ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

Therefore, come out of their midst and be separate,’ says the Lord. ‘And do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you. And I will be a Father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me,’ says the Lord Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18).

“The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray” (Proverbs 12:26).

We must be very careful with whom we associate. Even the strongest of Christians can waiver in their faith and suddenly find them selves sliding down that slippery slope to compromise and immorality. I am not saying you could lose your salvation because you are friends with unbelievers. However we, as Christians, struggle daily against the wiles of the devil. Why would we want to compound that struggle by associating with those whose god is this world, whose god is the devil?

“Our enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

God has called on us to be the conscience of the nation by godly living and setting the example of how we should act. Godly living is our calling as Christians. We should hate evil in EVERY form just as God hates evil. A godly man HATES evil and loves holiness.

“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:8-9).

So now what do we do?

We could sell everything we own and move to a monastery in the hope that those bad influences and temptations in our lives would be eliminated. That could work for possibly a day or two, although I don’t think that is what God has in mind for us. We are to be a light onto this darkened world. We are to show the world the love of God without loving the world. We need to love the sinner but hate the sin.

How do we do that?

First and foremost, NEVER take your eyes off of Jesus. Make it a habit to always have Him in the back of your mind throughout the day. Talk to Him all day long. Everything that happens to you, thank Him with a genuine heart─no matter what. Everything you do, do for His glory!

Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18).

Second, think: “What would Jesus do?” If everyone in the world thought that before they opened their mouths or set in motion a business transaction or before doing anything, there would be so much more peace and contentment in life. Sin would still be here, but perhaps this world would be a little less vicious and cruel.

“Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1).

“For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps” (1 Peter 2:21).

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12: 2).

Be aware of how you react to situations. Be aware of what words you speak and how you speak them. Christians are known by their fruits and believe it when I tell you that the world is watching everything you do. If the world gets wind that you are a Christian then the game is on. One false word or one insensitive act and you are toast. We are judged as a whole by the actions of one or a few. The world loves to find fault and it wallows in evil and takes pleasure in the misfortunes of others, especially Christians.

When the Lord calls me home, whether I die or am taken in the Rapture, I want to hear those wonderful words:

“Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Matthew 25:21).

Praise God!

God bless!