We all have many, many relationships. From just being acquainted with people to the most intimate relationships. What role do we play? Are we one person with one group of people, and completely different with another group? We should be the same same when we are with this group, that group, and especially when we are by ourselves! But that is not always the case. Who we are and what we do affects everyone around us whether we realize it or not. And each relationship is precious on its own level, in its own way. We need to remain true to who we are by God in every relationship.
For me, I realized the effect of my relationships right after I graduated from high school. I needed a change, and I knew the influence that the company that I chose had on my life. It was a natural and easy place in my life to make this kind of change.
When I went on to further my education, I decided I wasn’t there to make friends. I wanted my main focus to be on school and God. I needed to grow in my relationship with Him and strengthen my roots. For the most part, I had many acquaintances, but no relationships of any consequence. And the few relationships that I did make, I really tried to keep true to God. I knew who I was and who I did not want to be, so I just had to focus on that.
The biggest relationship that I made while I was in school was actually my husband! I met him through one of the friends that I did make during that season of my life. He really seemed like someone who held the same values as me, and he showed respect for what I believed and wanted in life. I really wasn’t interested in dating anyone, but little did I know that God had other plans! (well actually I did know… spoiler alert! Story for another day!)
Anyway, enough about that! The important thing here is how we choose and handle our many different relationships.
What does God say?
As children of God we need to be there for one another. God created us to be on this earth together to serve and help one another. in Genesis 2:18, God says, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” I realize this was man and woman, or man and wife, but we can also look at from the perspective of being Christians; God’s children. As His children, we need to take close friends who are like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind (Philippians 2:2). These like-minded relationships help us grow closer with God.
Here are a few verses that state why having a friend is important…
- Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 Two people are better than one because together they have a good reward for their hard work. If one falls, the other can help his friend get up. But how tragic it is for the one who is all alone when he falls. There is no one to help him get up.
- Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born in times of adversity.
- Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.
When we find a good godly friend or a church body that we can call family, God uses us one for another. We do have to be careful, though, because as friends can be good for us, the wrong ones can lead us astray, whether they are church goers or not. These verses are a good warning for us when choosing our companions…
- Proverbs 12:26 The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
- Proverbs 13:20 Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.
- Proverbs 14:7 Stay away from a fool, for you will not find knowledge on their lips.
- Proverbs 18:24 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
- Proverbs 22:24-25 Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared.
- Proverbs 27:6 Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.
- Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers
- 1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
I think that God is really trying to warn us to be careful. Should we not have anything to do with “these types” of people? No, God loves everyone. It is not our place to judge hearts. God longs for salvation for each person on this earth, but we are human, and have to keep our boundaries. When we make close friends with people with these negative personalities or issues, or whatever you want to call it, our hearts become infected. That attitude or way of living can take root in our hearts before we realize we have a problem. BE CAUTIOUS!
In saying all of this, I also want to acknowledge that I know that I am not perfect. I am human and a sinner just like we all are. But I have let God, and continue to let Him take over my heart; correct and guide me.
Choosing to protect myself from being swayed by people who do not know Jesus, was a life changer for me. I was able to build my relationship with Him, and He became my strength to stand up for myself when faced with negative influence. The voices of the world were cut out and I was able to focus on One Voice. And throughout my life, I have been able to stand on His word and remain who He has created me to be. Even when I become “infected”, God brings it to my attention, and I know what He needs me to do.
Over different seasons in life God will take us in and out of many different types of relationships so that we can learn and grown, and learn how to love each person. In the end, it’s not about pushing people away or leaving people out because they aren’t in the “Jesus club”. It’s about growing strong in your relationship with Jesus so that you can be love to everyone you meet, that they would see the Kingdom of heaven and one day turn to Jesus also.
Lord, I love You so much. You are the only One that I truly need. But You have created us to be relational, and to meet the needs of one another. I am so grateful for that. Please help each of us to know when it is time to make a change in a particular relationship. Help us to create healthy boundaries for ourselves. I pray that we grow in our relationship with You so that we can be a light to the lost and never lose sight of who we in the midst of hate. I love You, Lord with all my heart, soul, and strength. You are my King, my Father, my Savior, my Friend. I am nothing without You. You are the greatest One that we could ever have in our lives. Please help others to see that through the lives we lead. In You most precious name, Jesus. Amen.
This post is part of a series of post called Clean Out My Life. Click here If you would like to read the intro and other posts in this series.