|James 4:4 |
4 Adulterers, do you not know that the friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wants to be a friend of the world is the enemy of God [and has committed adultery with the world].1
1 Adulterers, do you not know that the friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wants to be a friend of the world is the enemy of God [and has committed adultery with the world]. Lust of the eye, lust of the flesh, and pride of life are the enemies of God. Do not love the world or the things that are by the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything by the world, — the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eye, and the boastful pride of life (or possessions) — is not by the Father, but exists by the world. 1 John 2:15-16
As you begin to deny your former evil activities in the world, the basis of your friendships will diminish. As you deny foul language, revelry, drinking, carousing, etc., your friends will become uncomfortable and begin to attack your commitment to goodness. You will no longer have anything to gain from socializing with them. For what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? Yes, they think it strange that you do not run with them into the same excess of dissipation, and they speak evil of you. Your former social friendships will necessarily disappear, else they will hate you and persecute you; or worse, drag you back into the world as you seek their approval. Are you trying to win the approval of men, or of God?
Do not marvel, my brothers, if the world hates you. 1 John 3:13. If the world hates you, know that it hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, and because I have chosen you out of the world, the world therefore hates you. John 15:18-19
Don't make the mistake of assuming you are supposed to love everyone by socializing with them, thinking that Jesus visited sinners and synagogues, and so should you. You are incapable of showing the love of God to anyone until you have been purified and the love of God has been close to perfected in you. Everything Jesus said and did was exactly as he was ordered to by the Father, and when you are clearly under the control of the Spirit of God's promptings and orders, you too will be sent to worldly people, (including religious worldly people), with instructions; but until then, you should withdraw from social contact with the world much as possible. Remember, you can do nothing of value without the Lord's assistance: his timing, his words, his orders, his power. Friendship with the world is enmity with God, whoever wants to be a friend of the world is an enemy of God; be polite, but don't join in conversations and activities of the world. This doesn't mean that you won't be kind and courteous to those of the world with which your occupation brings you into association; just that you will not socialize with them, because it would be painful and harmful to you. Do not be deceived. Evil companions corrupt good manners, morals, and integrity. 1 Cor 15:33