Tough Question #5:
The world is full of huge distractions. How do I stand firm in my faith and be light to nonchristian friends, family and co-workers?
Outside of our church family, it is not easy to find people who want us to “succeed” as Christians. They are not trying to make it easy for us to grow close to God. They are not trying to help us avoid sinful behaviors that will hurt us. They are not trying to help us stay positive, loving and encouraging. In fact, most of the time it feels as though everything and everyone outside of the church is working against us being a good Christian.
It is hard to stay on track and avoid negative behaviors. We have old habits and emotions that are part of who we used to be and we are hoping that they will disappear over time. But they do bubble up and it seems like certain people and situations make it easier for us to fall into those old patterns. That saddest part about that is, those are the people we want to be the best example for. They are where we used to be. We want to help them get to something better, not slide back into the pit with them. That hurts us and them.
So, what do we do? Stop having the battle in enemy territory. Knowing that we are vulnerable in certain situations, we stop going into those situations. We still want to have a positive influence, but we have learned we can’t do it on their terms. The answer is to take control of our environments. That means that there are some places we just won’t go. There are some people we just won’t see unless the environment is controlled and accountable. It will take some planning and discipline but it is worth it when we consider what is at stake. Jesus died so that we could experience freedom from the things that threaten to entangle us again. You’ve experienced how good that feels and you don’t want to go back. You also want your family and friends to see that strength in you and experience it for themselves.