Ephesians 5:6 – 7 “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.”
Don’t you just hate it when someone rains on your parade? Honestly, it is so annoying when we are just trying to relax, just trying to have a good time, and someone makes us feel guilty. Perhaps we are engaging in some innocent gossip, or laughing at an off-color joke. We don’t need some stick-in-the-mud coming along, making us feel bad about what we are doing.
So instead of feeling guilty, we surround ourselves with people who are okay with our little pet sins. “It’s really no big deal,” they tell us. “God understands. He won’t send you to hell for a little thing like that.” They tell us what we want to hear, and all is good. Right?
There’s just one little problem. To God, sin is serious. Yes, He loves us, and it breaks His heart to have to punish us. But He will discipline us when we knowingly do things we know are wrong. Just as a loving parent disciplines his child, God will discipline His children. He loves us, and He only wants the best things for us. We can have His best the easy way, or we can have it the hard way. We can avoid sin altogether. Or we can do what we want, and suffer the consequences.
I’ve tried it both ways. And trust me, God’s discipline is not fun. But I am so glad He loved me enough to discipline me! He loved me so much that He was willing to let me go through some hard things, to keep me from falling off a cliff of destruction.
Friends, people who encourage us to travel away from God instead of toward Him are not our friends. They may tell us what we want to hear, but they are not doing us any favors. Perhaps they are headed down their own paths to destruction, and they want some company. But whatever their reasons, they will not help us to achieve the joy and the peace and the fulfillment that God wants us to experience in this life. We shouldn’t judge them, but rather, we should love them and pray for them. And, we should stay away from them.
Dear Father, Please help me to stay away from people who will lead me away from You. I want to always move toward You.