June 22 – Encouragement for Believers

Read 2 Thessalonians 3:1-18

“Bad company corrupts good character.”1 Corinthians 15:33

I was blessed to have been brought up in the church as I have been attending Grace Church for the entirety of my 30 years. With Dad being on staff, as well, I have spent a lot of time at Grace Church . . .it became a home away from home for me.

When I transitioned from private to public schools, I quickly found out that I was in the midst of a drastically different environment. It seemed like an easy decision for me, but I remember choosing to invest in friendships at church rather than school. It wasn’t that I neglected those at school, but I chose to really dig into church friends, as I thought they would strengthen my faith more. That, and I kept hearing how easy it would be to give into the ways of the world.

In our reading today, Paul is encouraging Thessalonian believers to, essentially, be careful who you surround yourself with. While Paul is talking from a working standpoint, as there were people not working and reaping the rewards as if they were, I believe the principle can be applied to other areas of our lives as well.

As you think through who you constantly surround yourself with, would you say that those relationships are healthy? Are they bettering your relationship with Christ or dragging you down?

Now, let me be clear. We are in no way being called to abandon such relationships:

“Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.”

How much are you allowing them to influence your life? Are you guiding them towards Christ or are they guiding you towards the way of the world?

I encourage you to take an inventory of the impactful relationships in your life? Reassess who has such access to your life?

When you identify unhealthy relationships in your life, now think about how you are going to encourage them to elevate faith in their life.

As Christians, we are called to be a light in the darkness. However, we need to be careful how much we allow the darkness to influence our lives. Looking back on it, I should have been more intentional in my relationships with those outside the faith . . . I still need to be.

I am doing the Kingdom no good by staying in a shell.

Will you join me in helping those far from God see the forgiveness and grace of God?

Jake Lawson

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