Proverbs 1:10-19 (NIV)
“10 My son, if sinful men entice you,
do not give in to them.
11 If they say, “Come along with us;
let’s lie in wait for innocent blood,
let’s ambush some harmless soul;
12 let’s swallow them alive, like the grave,
and whole, like those who go down to the pit;
13 we will get all sorts of valuable things
and fill our houses with plunder;
14 cast lots with us;
we will all share the loot”—
15 my son, do not go along with them,
do not set foot on their paths;
16 for their feet rush into evil,
they are swift to shed blood.
17 How useless to spread a net
where every bird can see it!
18 These men lie in wait for their own blood;
they ambush only themselves!
19 Such are the paths of all who go after ill-gotten gain;
it takes away the life of those who get it.”
One of the hardest things to do for a Christian, especially a new believer, is to turn down opportunities to hang out with non-believing friends. We care and love these friends very much. However, some of these friends are not the best influences for our walk with Christ.
As much as we say we are our own person and make our own decisions, we are influenced by the people we surround ourselves with. I know because that was me, when I recommitted my life to the Lord I tried to continue hanging out with my same friends while they continued going to the same places and doing the same things. As a result I found myself not going all out like they were, but I was also not gaining ground in my relationship with the Lord.
It is hard to maintain an intimate relationship with the Lord while surrounding yourself in an environment where the Lord’s presence is not welcome. Therefore I was forced to distance myself, not because I no longer care or love those friends but my own conviction was making it hard for me to just sit back and allow myself to act as if I was ok with their actions.
As a newly recommitted believer I had to set myself apart so that the Lord had room to grow in me. I still love and care for my friends with all my heart, as well as pray for my friends all the time. I believe that in time the Lord will mend those broken relationships.
It is very important to separate yourself from your old ways, memories and tendencies. When this is done you tell the Lord that you’ve tried living this life on your own and now your allowing Him to take control. Roll with Jesus and let the other things go. God bless.