One of my biggest faults in my walk with Christ was surrounding myself with those who had no desire to help build me up in my faith. I had no self-control, as Christ tells us to have in Galatians 5:22-24. I always thought that I was supposed to be friendly with everyone. In fact, we are. But there is a difference between being friendly and being friends.
The Lord instructs us not to be yoked with unbeliever.
“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and
wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer
have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there
between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God.
As God has said: ‘I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be
their God, and they will be my people. Therefore come out from them and be separate,
touch no thing unclean, and I will receive you.’”
-2 Corinthians 6:14-17
James says to the twelve tribes scattered among the nations:
“Don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred towards God?
Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.”
If we surround ourselves with the wrong people who choose to give into desires of the flesh, we are more vulnerable to participate with them. We are humans and we are not perfect like God and you might say you won’t do anything wrong. However, you do not know that. Anything can happen. You do not know the future and as a human, and as a follower of the Lord, the enemy will attack you whenever he gets a chance. Once you let your guard down, you’re up for attack. Even the strongest Christians fall.
“Bad companions ruin good character.”
-1 Corinthians 15:33
This being said, we still need to be a light for the world.
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither
do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they
put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the
same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good
deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”
Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy;
without holiness no one will see the Lord.
God calls us to do his works and to do that we need to interact with non-believers. This doesn’t mean to make friends, it means to show God’s grace and love as it was shown to us. We are still to be friendly though (Proverbs 18:1) In Titus 3:1-5, we are told to be ready to do good to all men and show humility. At one time, we were once like them but God’s kindness and love was shown to us and we were saved by his mercy.
“…warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time.
After that, have nothing to do with him…”
God says to “go and make disciples of all the nations…”(Matthew 28:19) and that whoever loves every man has fulfilled the law. We need to plant seeds and water others. Those who are not saved are dead to sin and we must help make them alive in Christ. There are different ways we must do this for each person.
“Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them;
to others show mercy, mixed with fear-hating even the clothing
stained by corrupted flesh.”
“Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God
will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they
will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has
taken them captive to do his will.”
-2 Timothy 2:25-26
God has a will for everyone and everyone has different gifts that we are to use when doing his works.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for the proper time we will
reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we
have opportunity, let us do good to all people…”
“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully
administering God’s grace in various forms…”
-1 Peter 4:10
Through these verses we can see that we are to be good and kind to all people. If we are not how will they see God’s goodness and glory? But we are not to go and participate in the activities that they do or surround ourselves all of the time with them. Be gentle and humble in heart as Christ was and let his light shine through you so that you may do the works God has planned for you. If you follow his law and believe in him with all your heart he will protect you and guide you. Just don’t get caught up in the moment as the enemy may try to use the non-believers at any moment to snatch you from the salvation of Christ.
"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young,
but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity.
Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of scripture,
to preaching and to teaching....Be diligent in these matters; give yourself
wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.
Watch your life and doctrine closely. Preserve in them, because
if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers."
-1 Timothy 4:12-13...15-16