Guilty by association

This whole morning I have been thinking of a topic to blog about. In the back of my mind I have been struggling with a particular issue and I was wondering if some of you could share your opinion.

Is it wrong to stop being friends with someone because of their life style? At what point do you say, “I don’t agree with what you do with your life and I don’t think we should talk or be seen together.” The motive would be the fear that their rep would stain yours. Lets say they understand and respect that you are a Christian and they don’t judge you even though they don’t share the same belief’s. Is that right to turn them away? After all one day they may find God through you. Is there a point in which you just give up on someone? In my humble opinion I believe that you never turn someone away….as long as they don’t cause you to stumble. You never know how God can use you in that person’s life. I think Churches have gotten a bad wrap over loving people from a distance. We love you sinner as long as you don’t sin around us. In a sense I think I might have answered my own question but I am interested in hearing what you all think.

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6 Responses to “Guilty by association”

  1. The story in Mark 17 always brings me back to earth. (Key phrase: “…at Levi’s house”).

    If we aren’t reaching out to the lost, what good are we? Just scratching each others backs? Creating a new social club?

    Besides, who said we were perfect? I know I’ve got a millions faults!

  2. I agree with you. I think that we should stick with it as long as it doesn’t pull you away from where you should be. If that’s the case, then you need to rethink your relationships. I’ve got plenty of non-believers for friends. Up until recently, it was easy for me to be like them. Something happened in the not-so-distant past that changed that. I don’t know what it was, but I don’t act like them as much, and I’m getting more “different” every day. Has my relationships with them changed? Sure. Some for the worse, most for the better. I even have one friend that I’m working on through prayer that I’m seeing change in all the time.
    In conclusion, I’d say that if they aren’t leading you down the wrong path, and are not offensive or embarrassing when they are with you or making you look bad (poor choice of words, but it’s all I can think of), then stick it out. They may get themselves saved because of your friendship and example.
    Be Blessed!

  3. I think the key is in your statement “as long as they don’t cause you to stumble.” Jesus hung out with sinners and tax collectors, but he was the light in the darkness. He was with them but not of them…
    However, if you find yourself slipping back into old routines, and your old way of life when you are with nonbelievers, then you need to pull back. I speak this from personal experience.

  4. Great question. There is a theory that says that if there is a room full of people that have a particular bent, and one person has a different bent, then the one will more then likely change to the others, not the room to the one. Or they will find some common ground, but either way the one person is changing his/her convictions.

    I can say from personal experience that I did NOT do what you are asking and it was probably the dumbest thing I have ever done in my life. I knew the other 2 people well. Love them dearly, but knew that there were danger and caution signs all over our relationship. I knew I should have walked away. I didn’t. It went where I knew it would go and has cost me 2 friends.

    God used the circumstance to forever change who I am, as only his grace can do, but there’s not a day that goes by where I don’t regret that season of my life. I’ll never interact with those 2 again. It’s really the personal choice I should have made long before that time, but it’s sad to know it had to come to that. Sorry for the lengthy response…

  5. J, I don’t know exactly what you are referring to, but you know me. You know that my faith differs from yours in many ways. But i would like to think that your life is better for me being in it as i know that mine is because you have been in it. You can’t shut people out that think differently than you for several reasons. One being that you never know who is going to add to your life in a positive way. If you shut out everyone who thought differently than you then could we have had such an impact on each other? Another being that if everyone around you thought as you do, how do you examine who you are and what you believe? When everybody agrees with what you believe faith becomes easy. I have always thought that a faith that was easy to believe in become hollow over time. The people around you can help you question what you believe in so that your faith can become stronger. Now if this situation puts your family in any danger, then end the relationship because the first priority of a man should be his family. But i suspect this isn’t the case because i am sure that you would already have put a stop to that.

  6. Jason, you have got a handle on this. If you are looking for validation of what you think is right then that is good. Your thoughts and course of action are both biblical and loving. Keep up the good work. B4T

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