Let’s Not Get Too Cozy With People Of The World
By: Brian A. Yeager
This subject matter is not so easy as to have a blanket statement. We know that we must, to some degree, have certain relationships with people of the world. We’d have to altogether leave this planet if we opted to never be around someone that is worldly. Thus, we are authorized to have some company with people of the world (I Corinthians 5:1-13). Christians even have some authority to have social relationships with people of the world (I Corinthians 10:27 and I Peter 3:1-4). Jesus didn’t desire His disciples, that took over His work, to be taken away from the world (John 17:14-17).
Having said all of that, there are other instructions that make this subject matter more difficult than easy. For example, consider the following Scriptures: “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty… Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God… And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it. For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds” (II Corinthians 6:14-18, James 4:4, and II John 1:6-11). In addition to those Scriptures, like statements are made throughout the Bible (Psalms 1:1-2, Psalms 26:4-5, Proverbs 13:20, Jeremiah 15:17, Ephesians 5:1-11, etc.).
When honest Bible students consider the Scriptures quoted or referenced above, they will struggle with knowing when and with whom those instructions apply. You know you can have some level of a relationship with someone of the world. You have to in some cases. On the other hand, you know that there are limitations. Those limits grow narrower as you learn the truth and grow spiritually. In fact, the more spiritually minded you become the more you will not want to be around people that are of the world outside of trying to help them be saved.
The More You Grow, The Less Cozy You Are With People Of The World
The word “cozy” means: “giving a feeling of comfort, warmth, and relaxation” (Oxford New American Dictionary). Faithful Christians are NEVER fully comfortable and relaxed amongst people of the world for many reasons. For one, you are always working to be sure you are not being influenced by them (Psalms 119:115 and I Corinthians 15:33). Then, you are always trying to teach them either in word or by proper conduct (Matthew 5:14-16, Luke 5:27-32, and Philippians 2:14-16). One thing is for sure, you are on guard (Psalms 39:1 and Colossians 4:5).
Additionally, for faithful Christians, you love the truth and hate evil. Notice: “Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good” (Romans 12:9; cf. Psalms 97:10). If this is not happening to you, when you are around people of the world, something is wrong with you spiritually. Additionally, the more you find yourself around people of the world, the less comfortable they should be around you. Notice both sides of these points in this Scripture: “An unjust man is an abomination to the just: and he that is upright in the way is abomination to the wicked” (Proverbs 29:27).
Building on the points we’ve covered already, so that you know this is not “Brian’s opinion”, consider this from JESUS: “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also” (John 15:18-20). What does it say of you if people of the world “love you” (i.e. Luke 6:26)???? Having said that, we need to get the balance right.
The Balance Between Too Cozy And Altogether Withdrawn
We have to learn to be in the world, but not to be conformed to the world (Romans 12:1-2). We have to perfect loving our worldly neighbors (Romans 13:8-10), without getting too cozy with them. There is a balance (II Timothy 2:22-26). We have to know that those who are of the world are the children of Satan (I John 3:8-10). So, when you are comfortably having dinner with your worldly best friend, what are you doing? How long does, “I am trying to teach he, she, or them” allow you to feel comfortable (Matthew 7:6)? If you are really teaching them, how long will they feel comfortable around you in social situations that are of your choosing rather than of necessity? Think of Jesus here (John 3:19-21 and Hebrews 1:8-9)?
From the Scriptures we’ve looked at, we can see that we can have some company with people of the world. We also see that there are a lot of questions that should come into our minds concerning those relationships. Furthermore, we also have to be consistent (Matthew 7:1-5). We cannot throw someone of the world out of our homes if we are constantly willing to join ourselves to things that surround us with people of the world. That is hypocrisy. I hope this study makes us all pause, consider our friendships, and make adjustments one way or another!
Volume 17 – Issue 21 - February 5th, 2017