Are We Seeking God?

I hope your Thanksgiving Day was special. Maybe family is still visiting through the weekend. It's very nice to spend time with family, and we should cherish such opportunities.

As encouragement today, consider 1 Cor 5:11. In a nutshell, it says Christians can't approve of the behavior of people who claim to be brothers and sisters, but indulge in sinful lifestyles. "But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people".

There are several reasons for this. We can't condone sin, and patting them on the back as if nothing is wrong in their life does nothing to change their behavior. On the contrary, we read that we are to "warn a divisive person", and should they ignore us, we are to "have nothing to do with them". (Titus 3:10)

Another reason is that if we socialize with them as if nothing is wrong, it degrades our own lives. They are contagious, and their influence begins to damage us. If we don't heed the warning and walk away from them, we may gradually become just like them.

How about outside the church?

We know how our world lives, those who know not God. Paul tells Timothy that "people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power." Paul says plainly and clearly, "Have nothing to do with such people". (2 Tim 3:1-5) We can't align ourselves with such people.

Bad influences in our lives test us and can even break us. If we choose to spend all our time around such people, they will more than likely pull us down, instead of us lifting them up. Scripture doesn't tell us to ignore non-Christians and never speak to them, on the contrary, we are to love them and try to reach them with the saving message of the Gospel. But it does tell us not to be "bound together" with them because we will be fooled, seduced and thrown off course. We can't team up with sin and think we will prevail.

Today, remember Jesus went places where sinners were and taught them a better way and left an example for them, but He didn't surround Himself with such people, or run in their social circles. He loved them, but He surrounded Himself with people willing to seek God and live their lives differently than the world. We too should do the same.