On Tuesdays, I meet with about a dozen or so young men for a Bible study. It’s one of my most favorite times of the week. Today we talked about something very important, not only to students but adults too. We talked about friends.
There’s great value in a good friend. Someone shared with me a while back, that if I had to chance to make a friend or a dollar to make a friend. He said I would spend the dollar, and he was right! A good friend is someone that you can call on in times of need, and in the same way, hopefully they can call on you. A good friend is said to be someone who walks toward you, when others are walking away. I’m rich when it comes to friends. I have Christian friends who, through their unwavering faith, have caused me to grow spiritually. Some impacted my life in tremendously, before I even knew Christ.
We also have unsaved friends that we love, and love to spend time with. They are people who have been with us not just for a long time, but also through hard times (even in times when our Christian friends at least seemed to be absent). These are people that we sometimes befriend, just because we want them to know Christ. We hope to be Christ to them. I thank God for those people. I can look back into my high school, and college days and remember them.
Looking back now, I can see where some of my friendships grew distant. Not because I became a Christian, but because life seems to move us apart at times. Maybe this is because God knew that the desire I had to be with them, and the influence they would have on me.
While we should have a burning desire for all of our friends to know Christ, we should be careful to not let our love for them drive us away from Him. There’s an attitude that all Christians have about sin. We always want to do what’s right, but the there’s also the fleshly part of us that wants to be with our friends. This fleshly part causes us to compromise our convictions. Psalm 1:1 reads, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers”. We see that this man goes from walking, to standing, to sitting; all because he becomes comfortable in the sins that others may not be convicted over.
If we can’t be with folks and not compromise, then we need to withdraw from them. It’s a hard thing to do, and sometimes hard to determine when it’s necessary. Still, any relationship that comes before your relationship with God can’t be good. Be Blessed.