In James 4:4, people who have been unfaithful to God get a firm talking-to:
“You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.”
Wow. Whatever being a “friend of the world” means, it’s obviously not a good thing!
In the context of this letter, being a “friend of the world” clearly has to do with fighting, quarrelling, and harbouring envy and selfish ambition.
More broadly it means being in close agreement with the ways of the world instead of the ways of God; blindly blending in to the values and priorities of the society around you; and adopting the compromised standards of those parts of society which have rejected God.
Let me leverage the language of social media to make the point: Friending the world is un-friending God; and friending God is unfriending the world!
Don’t blend in. And don’t be naïve.
As you go about your day, ask yourself: ‘Am I just blindly adopting the values and priorities of the culture around me, or am I being deliberate? Am I specifically seeking the ways of God?’
Friending the world is un-friending God.
By Matthew Ruttan
–This devotional is directly related to my sermon from November 8: “In but not of the world.” You can access YouTube or audio-only download options here.
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.