As a new believer, one of the first things I (as do most of us) realised was the need to change my sphere of influence, get new friends. It was just common sense to me. It required sometimes squatting a Christian friend despite having my own room. I did not know so many scriptures then to know if that was what I was supposed to do (Not like I know so much now).
Notwithstanding, it was/is the right thing to do, as we have such instructions from scriptures. The scriptures are replete with instructions for the believer to change her/his sphere of influence.
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? – 2 Corinthians 6:14
Here, Paul, as inspired by the Holy Spirit, reminds believers in Corinth (and us by extension) about how they related to unbelievers. Now, Paul’s use of ‘Be ye not unequally yoked’ does not mean we should be “equally yoked” with unbelievers. Paul was referring to a marriage between a believer and an unbeliever as being unequally yoked.
There’s no being equally yoked. A marriage (and by extrapolation a close relationship) with an unbeliever is being unequally yoked. Simply, because the other party is an unbeliever.
Earlier in the first epistle to the church in Corinth, Paul gives a reason for this instruction.
Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. – 1 Corinthians 15:33
We are a product of influence. We can’t stop ourselves from being influenced, however, we can ensure that we are influenced positively and not otherwise.We are a product of influence. We can’t stop ourselves from being influenced, however, we can ensure that we are influenced positively and not otherwise. Click To Tweet
Thus, as believers, we cannot be passive about what and whom we let around us. We must actively seek out friendships with believers who believe as we do.As believers, we cannot be passive about what and whom we let around us. Click To Tweet
The scriptures further tell us what comes of being (or what should come of being) in the right associations.
And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. – Hebrews 10:24-25
Regardless of how you meet a fellow believer, be it happenstance, at work, on the bus, someone who goes to the same church as you or you’ve always been friends, no matter who they are to you, employee, employer, spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, child etc. the primary purpose of Christian relationships is to provoke unto love and to good works.The primary purpose of Christian relationships is to provoke unto love and to good works. Click To Tweet
Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. – 1 Thessalonians 5:11
This, of course, does not mean you and your Christian co-worker not attending to your duties at work because you are praying or that you can’t watch football, hangout or gist with friends. It does mean one thing must be predominant. One thing most be preeminent. One thing must take priority. Edifying each other and provoking each other to love and to good works must always come first.
Always have this in mind. There should be a difference between our relationships, friendships and those of the world. The things we do the most with our Christian friends must be things unbelievers can’t. We must stay in the centre of God’s will for us. Never forget, we are supernatural! We must always keep the supernatural element in our relationships. This does not mean anything spooky or far-fetched. It’s in the little things. Praying together often. Studying the Bible together often. Sharing the gospel often.We must always keep the supernatural element in our relationships. It’s in the little things. Praying together often. Studying the Bible together often. Sharing the gospel often. Click To Tweet
So, in this new year if there’s anything you should resolve to do and do more, let it be this.
As a rule of thumb, I advise, better too much than too little.
Written by Moyosore Oloruntoyin.