Some friends should carry the label, “Dangerous for Your Health.”
My parents always cautioned me to choose friends wisely. Biblical examples were offered of what happens when one doesn’t. Such as the prodigal son. Warnings reminded me that choosing bad company would corrupt my character. Stand your ground on moral principles and don’t let anyone persuade you otherwise. Imagine my surprise when one such distraction appeared in the form of a deacon’s son at the church my father pastored. We became fast friends. I had just entered adolescence, and rebellion was on my mind. And this new friend provided the fertilizer for my stubborn seeds to grow. Within a short period of time, I had acquired several addictions and was traveling down the wrong spiritual road.
Friendship with the world has consequences. You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. (James 4:4 NLT)
World in biblical terminology seldom refers to the geographical ball dangling in space. Rather it’s the entire system of action and thought that doesn’t align with God’s standards and commands. Worldly friendships manifest themselves through actions and relationships that dishonor God.
James makes it clear I can’t have the proverbial cake and eat it too scenario. I either chose the world or Christ. I must select sinful living or godly living. Since the beginning of time, the option has always been God or the world. Adam and Eve had a choice: the fruit of the one forbidden tree (world) or God (the fruit of every other tree). James even uses the good teaching technique of repetition to reinforce the impossibility of having it both ways. Friends with the world equal enemies of God. What I attempted to do during my teenage journey, God says is impossible.
Who are you choosing as a friend, the world or God?
Prayer: Give us courage, Dear Lord, to choose godly relationships so our spiritual journey is enhanced and we are encouraged to obey You rather than our sinful desires.
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