If it’s one thing I’m learning more and more each day, it's that it is imperative to surround yourself with people who are going in the same direction as you. This is something our mothers have told us a thousand times before, but yet somehow we still thought we could move forward in God’s plan for our lives by keeping everyone we started out with in our circle. As much as I wish this could be true, it just doesn’t/can’t happen this way. When God is calling us to a closer relationship with Him, it causes for some things to change….including but not limited to, a shifting of friends.
“Do not team up with unbelievers……for what does light have in common with darkness?” -2 Corinthians 6:14
I’m often asked the question if I lost any of my friends when I made the decision to become more committed in my relationship with Christ and what did I tell them? The answer is yes, I did…..but I didn’t have to tell them anything. See when you begin to move in a certain direction in life…only one of two things will happen: either they jump on board or they jump ship. From my personal experience, I don’t ever remember having to sit down and formally “break up” with a friend. As your interests and desires change as you grow in Christ, it will be inevitable for your friends to take notice. They’ll either accept the change they see in you or they will reject it by distancing themselves from you. I mean let’s be real….if your friend is trying to get it in at a club on a Friday night, the last thing they’re trying to hear is you wanting to go to a Young Adult Bible Study! Lol Eventually enough of these “mishaps” will result in them to stop hitting you up. Honestly, it sucks when it happens that way, but the Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 6:14 not to team up with unbelievers, for what does light have in common with darkness? We should be moving to a point in our relationship with God where we won’t even want to associate ourselves with things that are contradicting to His word.
“We should always associate ourselves with people who ADD to our lives and not people who SUBTRACT from it.”
Now right about here I probably lost someone. Lol Let me guess, your next question is, "does this mean I can’t be friends with someone who’s not a Christian?" The answer is: of course you can! However, there is a difference between being friends/acquaintances with someone and being “associated” with someone. When you’re associated with someone, you now risk being labeled under whatever reputation that comes along with that particular person or group. Truthfully, this is where many of us go wrong. We try to hang on to CeCe or Tyrone from around the block because they were our first real friend and every time God makes it beyond obvious that y’all are headed in two different directions, you pretend like you don’t see the clear lifestyle differences! This ultimately results in you continuing to go places and do things that you KNOW God has called you away from. Let’s take a minute to do a self-evaluation. Think about the people you talk to on a consistent basis. Do these people add peace or do they add drama to your life? Are they bearing fresh or rotten fruit on your tree? Simply put, are they making you better or making you worse? We should always associate ourselves with people who ADD to our lives and not people who SUBTRACT from it.
It’s true, people who aren’t on the same page as you as far as the direction you’re headed, can and WILL stunt your spiritual growth. In Proverbs 27:17 it tells us that “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” Iron is such a strong element that only something of its kind can make it even stronger. Same thing applies with our friendships. If we truly want to grow in our relationship with God we have to surround ourselves with people who are also trying to do the same thing. It’s time to do a serious friend check. Everyone can’t go where God is taking you…..and that’s okay. You may lose some people along the way, but the blessing is the people who choose to stay with you find that their lives will also begin to change for the better all because YOU made the decision to choose Christ. Don’t worry about who’s not with it….God never takes something away without replacing it with something far better.
"God has great things in store for your life and no
dead-end friendships are worth you missing out on it."
So you do the math in your own life. Identify the people who aren’t adding anything positive to your life and SUBTRACT them from it. Better yet, continue to grow closer to God and watch them subtract themselves. God has great things in store for your life and no dead-end friendships are worth you missing out on it. Allow God to add peace in your life by subtracting people and things that no longer hold your interest and watch how your happiness and joy will multiply….yes, God is the ultimate mathematician lol :)
*For more dealing with this topic, check out the following scriptures:
2 Corinthians 6:14
1 Corinthians 15:33