Last night I was talking to my mom on the phone and was telling her about how bad my anxiety has gotten since I moved to Texas. We were talking about how I always feel extremely anxious around the wives and people I meet on and off post. It has gotten to the point where all I can do is worry about every little thing.
Caring too much about what others think of us makes us lose our focus on the only One who matters.
When I moved to Texas, I had no intention on making a lot of friends because lets face it, most people aren’t very trustworthy these days. I’m more okay with being a loner than being a social butterfly. I like to keep to myself and not fool with very many people because I find it easier to live my life that way. But my husband insisted on me making friends and putting myself out there when we moved to post. I reluctantly put myself out there, only to find many spouses have more drama than I ever did in high school or we just don’t have anything in common at all.
Don’t get me wrong, not all military spouses are crazy or full of drama, but I’ve learned to be careful who I associate myself with. We, as Christians have to use discernment on who we allow into our lives. We should want to be surrounded by good influences that are going to lift us up spiritually, instead of surround ourselves around people who are bad influences that will only tear us down spiritually.
We can be nice and loving to the lost, but we will never get what we need spiritually from them. Jesus went to the sinners, to witness to them and to be a light, but not to be their best friends. Jesus’ example teaches us that we can be lights to those who are lost around us, but that we should surround ourselves with those who are equally yoked to us spiritually.
2 Corinthians 6:14 says, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?“
Gotquestions.org says, “A yoke is a wooden bar that joins two oxen to each other and to the burden they pull. An “unequally yoked” team has one stronger ox and one weaker, or one taller and one shorter. The weaker or shorter ox would walk more slowly than the taller, stronger one, causing the load to go around in circles. When oxen are unequally yoked, they cannot perform the task set before them. Instead of working together, they are at odds with one another.”
I decided to use this example of the oxen because we can relate to it today as human beings. When we surround ourselves with those of the world, if we are not strong in our walks with God, our relationship with Him is going to fail and we are going to be pulled into sin. Living in military towns, we all know how spiritually dark the towns are. Many times, we may be the only Christian family in our neighborhoods or villages. It can be hard to find friends and put yourself out there when everywhere you look, you see sin.
Light and darkness are the complete opposites of one another. They have nothing in common with each other.
Paul says in 2 Corinthians 6:14, “and what communion hath light with darkness?” This question is an important question we should all ask ourselves when we seek to make friends. The light can dispel darkness, but darkness can also extinguish light if we’re not careful. The two are always at odds with each other. Neither the light or the darkness can both win, but only one can outdo the other.
2 Corinthians 6:15-17 says, “And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?” “And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.“
The word “Belial” in Hebrew means the devil. We learn in the very first verse of scripture that Christ can have no part with the devil or anything that he stands for or represents in the world today. I am by no means saying that we can’t be friendly or associate ourselves with those who are lost. Instead, we should be shining our lights to them at all times. It takes each of us reaching out to them to witness to them about the truth of Christ.
There is a difference between witnessing to those who are lost and deciding to be the best of pals with those who do not live right.
The last two verses of scripture, we learn that if we are Christians then we belong to God. If we belong to God, we must be separate from the things of this world. In order for us to keep a growing relationship with God, we have to surround ourselves with good influences and use discernment on who we let into our lives. By no means shun those who are lost, but do not form such close relationships with them that you begin to conform to their ways of living. In order for us to be lights and witnesses to those around us, we have to be different in the way we speak, dress, and act.
Just like Christ was when He walked the earth, we too, must be careful on who we allow into our circles of friendship. We learn from Jesus Christ Himself, that He surrounded Himself with men of faith. I believe Christ did that to show us the importance of having friendships with those who will uplift and encourage us through our common beliefs and faith. Christ by no means shunned the lost, but instead set Himself apart from them to show them there is a better way to live that leads to eternal life. We must follow in the footsteps of Jesus.