The righteous should choose his friends carefully,
For the way of the wicked leads them astray. (Proverbs 12:26)
We are going to have all kinds of people in our lives. If we can stop judging people, then we can better love them and witness to them.
Still, the Bible says, “Be careful in who you hang out with lest you become like them.” Does that mean believers should shut themselves off from non-believers? I don’t think so. I don’t fear non-believers. In Christ, I don’t fear becoming like them. In Christ, I can just love on them. Why wouldn’t I?
Remember, Jesus is the hot water. Hot water flows through a copper pipe and the pipe changes. It gets hot. I may not be able to change myself, but just like a copper pipe, I can be changed. Jesus can change me. I turn that hot water on, Jesus flows through me, and I change.
I don’t have to turn on the hot water, of course. I can continue to live in my irritability and say, “What can I do? I will never change in my flesh. I’m a copper pipe, and always will be, and so is everyone else.” That’s the mentality that fears the non-believer.
But why would I be so fatalistic, when I can access Christ? The quicker I turn to my Savior, the quicker I’m going to change. So I’m hitting that hot water. The more I do it, the longer it stays on. It’s running through me a little more all the time.
We have access to all the hot water we need. And the more we hit that hot water, the faster Jesus flows through us. The peace of Christ comes over us.
It’s through Christ that we live in peace. It’s only through Christ that we live in His peace.
If you’re at peace, you’re slow to anger. You’re quick to forgive. And you become an encourager. You don’t have to be angry all the time, or deal with the burdens of lust or fear. This is the whole awesomeness of Jesus. Whatever our particular burden of sin might be, in Christ we don’t have to be that way.
That’s why I don’t fear hanging out with non-believers. The hot water of Jesus turns me into a blessing to them. They don’t lead me astray. I lead them to Him!
More on this next time. See you Saturday.