ď Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.Ē 1Corintnians15:33
Weíve all heard the saying that some people are just bad influences. It is easy in todayís world to consider some peoples lifestyles are a matter of preference. I believe there is a difference though. I think in order to live a Godly life we have to choose our friends and acquaintances carefully. We cannot allow those around us who profess to be believers in Christ to live in sin. One cannot serve two gods. You canít worship the almighty dollar and profess to worship the Lord. Iím not saying that we should live ignorantly of money and itís value, Iím merely saying that we should recognize where our money comes from. If it ultimately comes from God, then we should handle it like it is Godís money and not our own.
If we know someone who is supposed to be born again and we know that they are committing adultery, we should confront them in love. There is no excuse that allows someone to continue in a habitual sin and yet continue to profess they have a relationship with Christ. Our relationship with Jesus which makes us true Christians should compel us to behave differently. It changes our lives. The fruit of the spirit should be evident in our lives. We are to be a light to the world. How are we supposed to be that when we continue to do the very things we shouldnít?
Itís not a matter of will, itís a matter of love. Every time we sin, even as saved Christians, we put Jesus back on the cross. Peter was in Jerusalem preaching to the Jews about Christ. Late in the night he received word that the Jewish leaders were going to kill him. So he decided that he was going to leave town under the cover of darkness. While he was cowering in the shadows by the city gates, he saw Jesus walking back into the city. He called out ďWhere are you going Lord?Ē Jesus answered him and said, ďIím going to be crucified again.Ē Peter, in his shame, turned around and went back into Jerusalem. When he was to be crucified, he told them to hang him up side down because he said he wasnít worthy to be crucified like his Lord.
1Corinthians 10:13 says, ď No temptation has seized you except that which is common to man. And God is faithful. He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.Ē
Even when we feel hopeless we can find strength in God. He has defeated even that which makes us weak. In Him, we can overcome all our temptations and our weaknesses. With His strength, we can lift up our brothers and sisters who have fallen. We can be leaders and warriors for Christ. We can stand alone and be fulfilled by remembering the cloud of witnesses that surround us every day. We can claim the joy that is in Christ and stand up for His name in a world that will condemn us for His sake. We can decide to live for Him instead of walking in the ways of the world. Even if we have to walk alone, we know that He will never leave us. Donít let the illusion of worldly things put Jesus back on the cross. If you donít stand for something, youíll fall for anything.