I was reading in a book the other day about an interesting pheonomenon that occurs amongst many Christians. It is the way that we encourage each other to absolutely avoid the world and the sinful people in it because we don't want them to "taint" our spirituality. True, as a follower of Christ I need to be "in the world and not of it" and I need to avoid the obvious areas where such things as pornography and drug abuse are occurring. Yet it puzzles me as to why we encourage one another to avoid the very people who we are interested in leading to Christ.

As I was thinking about this, it came to me that we are taught to avoid sinful people not because their influence is so great on us, but because we have allowed Jesus' influence to be so ineffective in our own lives. What I mean is, we avoid associating with sinful people because we aren't convinced that our belief in the hope of Christ is stonger than the pull of the world. We doubt God's promise to keep us secure - we are afraid that world will win our hearts back. That's not an indictment against God; it's a problem for us. I have a desire to see men and women to come to the truth of Jesus Christ. The way that is to be fulfilled in my life is for me to live out that message and take it to them. Is my Jesus strong enough to protect me and carry me through what the world throws at me? Yes, He is. The question is, am I relying completely on the strength of Christ or will I avoid the world because I'm not prepared to stand firm against it?

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