This blog post first appeared at www.insideoutwithcourtnaye.org.
Do you sense that God may be leading you to surround yourself with more 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 and the Devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever?”
Wow! Hard truth, right? I know. But if you’re hanging out with the wrong crowd consistently my sister, then others are going to associate you to be that way as well. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 24:21, "My child, fear the Lord and the king; Don't associate with rebels." (NLT)
And it's not that you can't talk to sinners at all. That would be crazy! Remember, we're in the world, just not of it. We're supposed to be light in the midst of darkness. So the association is just what it says. First Corinthians 15:33 also instructs us, “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’” (NIV)
So for instance, if the people that you keep company with or associate with are cursing, getting drunk, 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 would look like it’s an oxymoron or that you’re being a hypocrite.
Now, I know that for some women reading this, it will be a hard pill to swallow. Why? Because some have been friends since high school or college. Some have met at work and have become Happy Hour drinkers (and either get tipsy or drunk by the end of their time together). Trust me. I've totally been there before. So I know from experience!
But that’s when I would have to ask, “What’s more important? What God’s Word says or your friends?” I can personally tell you, for me, I chose God’s Word.
The Word of God is really our roadmap to living a life that pleases God. It's an instruction manual, along with a lot of other important knowledge. So my encouragement to you through this post would be to choose your friends wisely and with the Lord's Word in mind.
So take inventory. Are they godly or worldly? How are your conversations? Are they 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 Jesus was sitting next to you, would He approve of your conversations and fellowship?
If not, pray and seek the Lord's wisdom on how to cut the ties or have the tough conversation about them changing and living a transformed life in Christ. Again, be the light in the midst of the darkness. This also goes for friends who say that they are 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 lukewarm.
The Apostle Paul instructs us plainly in 1 Corinthians 5:11-12 saying, "...you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don't even eat with such people. It isn't my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning." #biblicaltruth
Now, this is 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 associations. Remember, bad company corrupts good character.
The point here is to purposefully surround yourself with godly friendships where you can encourage one another, carry one another's burdens, sharpen one another in the Word, give each other godly advice, and enjoy wholesome fellowship. There's nothing like having a sister-friend to share life's ups and downs, highs and lows, laughs and tears, goals and dreams, mishaps and victories with.
Look around for them at church, coffee shops, women's gatherings, Bible Study small groups, through mutual friends, at work, school (if you attend), your kids' school or games, and in your community. Show yourself friendly, don't be shy, start up a conversation, or join in on one, and pray for the Lord to lead you to the right ones.
Also, if you haven't found any Christian friends yet, I pray that you will soon! And if you have, cherish them always. We are stronger together.
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 or prayer, email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, stay tuned on my Facebook page (Inside Out with Courtnaye) for this week's theme: Friendships. I'll be sharing videos and audio messages on this topic, quotes, Bible verses, advice, a Facebook LIVE Q&A session (so get your questions ready) and more! So stay tuned! It's going to be edifying, enlightening, and eye-opening!
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!
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*Tune in every Monday at 7:30am for new posts, “Like” my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/InsideOutWCourtnaye), and follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/InOutwCourtnaye. Also, 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!