Scripture: 2 Corinthians 6:14-18
Key Verse: 2 Corinthians 6:14
One of my favorite things about my college experience was becoming a Resident Assistant (RA). In my role, I got the opportunity to build relationships with so many people from around the world. We would talk about how their classes were going, their home lives and, my favorite topic of discussion, their hobbies. I ended up having a lot in common with many of the people that lived in my building and worked hard to maintain strong bonds with them. However, what I learned at the end of year one is that strong, convenient bonds often hold no weight. You see, almost all the relationships I formed with my residents I formed were usually out of convenience and not because of substance. Yes, we may have had hobbies in common, and we spoke in the morning while brushing our teeth. But, there was no depth to the relationships because they were rooted in the convenience of seeing each other daily and not in genuine love. Which does not shock me looking back because many of them had no relationship with the creator of love. As we wrap up this series, it is my prayer that if you or someone you know are in a lonely season, don’t build a relationship out of convenience. Make sure God is at the root, so that it can survive no matter the situation.
I recognize that during the COVID-19 pandemic our social interactions are extremely limited. However, this is no excuse to use convenience to connect with people who do not have a true relationship with God (v.14). You may think that you are strong enough to handle these relationships, but the reality of investing a lot of time in these convenient ungodly relationships is that you likely aren’t investing a lot more time in your relationship with God. Now, this may seem very confusing to understand because often people cite the scriptures where Jesus dined with unbelievers and sinners, but understand that He did those things for the sake of ministry and leading people to Christ. If you are entering into convenient relationships with unbelievers and ministry isn’t your mission, then you may need to rethink your role.
If you are like me, you may be wondering why this is such a bad thing to do. I mean there are truly some good people in the world who just don’t believe in God. Well, here is the danger to building deep relationships with unbelievers. Whether you see it or not, there is some sort of guiding principle they live by and things that they idolize. It may be money, fame, popularity, sex, or technology. The list could go on forever. As believers, we cannot be consumed by these things (v.17). God wants us all to Himself. All of the things I listed are not consistent like the God we serve because they were created by flawed, inconsistent people. So, one of the best ways to avoid being consumed by something is to not surround yourself with it or put yourself in a position where others are being consumed by it.
I know that you might be struggling to figure out where to go next and what you should do about finding friends or true community. I am definitely right there with you. I don’t have all the answers, but we serve a God who does. As we are searching for the community that may not currently exist, we can find comfort in knowing that we have a Father that cares for us and wants us to have unconditional joy (v.18). Also, it is perfectly normal to ask God to position you in healthy relationships. God doesn’t want us to be alone. We are talking about the same God that took a rib from man to form a companion (Genesis 2:21-23). You will find your community. Don’t rush God’s timing and begin forming relationships out of convenience. Trust that God knows what is best for you.
Prayer: God, today we want to say thank you. Thank you for making us aware of the relationships that should exist in our lives and for taking time to build strong relationships with us. Please help us to not fall into the trap of convenience in this lonely season. Instead, help us to be patient and wait on you to position us where we need to be. Lord, we love you, and we recognize that our relationship with you is the best one we can have. Please continue to receive us as your own. In Jesus name, amen.