As believers, we are called to associate with other believers for strength and nourishment in God. This isn’t to say that we should drop every friend that isn’t a believer, but we must be very careful who we spend our time with and why. There is a reason we should do this and it’s to keep ourselves from returning to a weed.
“So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” ~ 2 Timothy 2:22 ~
Believers, the good plants, can suffer damage when left in the presence of weeds. Weeds will use up all of the nutrients and leave us hungry and malnourished. Weeds attract detrimental insects, the things that cause us to stumble and take our eyes off of Jesus. Weeds cause disease, wounds that hurt and eat at us to destroy our peace. Weeds multiply quickly causing us to be overwhelmed and lose strength. Weeds interfere with harvest, causing us to sacrifice our goal. Weeds reduce yield and quality, interfering with what God has called us to be.
“But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother, (notice Paul still calls them “brothers” before he called them anything else), if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler – not even to eat with such a one.” ~ 1 Corinthians 5:11 ~
That’s hard-core, but necessary or Paul wouldn’t have written it for the benefit of the church at Corinth, and for us. It is entirely possible to witness to others without partaking in their habits or lifestyle. We all have friends and family that need to see Christ in our lives and that doesn’t mean our job is condemning them. Our lives should be the example and it should compel others to desire what we have in Christ. As Christians, we have to constantly check ourselves and make sure that we don’t put ourselves in situations that will cause us to fail. We have no choice but to be part of the world, but we have the choice to not be of the world.
“Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear from you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel.” ~ Philippians 1:27 ~
Be mindful of the company that you keep. Build friendships with fellow believers and be accountable to them for your actions. If we surround ourselves with people who love and follow God then we will know they will have our best interest at heart and will help us grow by nourishing us with Godly love and knowledge.
So, where have you planted yourself? Are you struggling to survive in the entanglement of weeds, or are you blooming in a beautiful garden attracting the attention of others for the Kingdom?