2 Peter 2:17 These (people who tempt new Christian believers away from faith in Jesus) are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm; for them the deepest darkness has been reserved. 18 For they speak bombastic nonsense, and with licentious desires of the flesh they entice people who have just escaped from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption; for people are slaves to whatever masters them. 20 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overpowered, the last state has become worse for them than the first.
In this passage Peter warns other Christian believers to avoid those who would tempt them back into the lives of depravity and promiscuity from which they had been set free in Jesus. This was, and is, a real problem for Christians. Why?
Because old habits die hard – as do the old relationships that accompany them.
I remember as a young adult having my heart captured by the Lord, such that I got serious about faith for the first time in my life. For me, it was most definitely a spiritual awakening I wasn’t expecting. The result was that I purchased my first bible and began attending a church with my new wife Jana who was a life-long believer. It was exhilerating and confusing at the same time.
It was confusing because my life prior to this “awakening” did not line up well with life in Christ. There were lots of behaviors and habits that I realized I needed to change. Like I said, and as many of you know, old habits die hard. This was not going to be easy. But the more difficult dimension of this life change was relational.
If I was to break free of my old life I would have to break free of some old relationships.
The truth is, if we are going to be serious about following Jesus, we’re going to have to let go of some people who do not share our new ways of life. This is particularly true for those who are relatively new to life in Christ. Why? Because the old relationships are generally much stronger than the new ones. These new Christian relationships need time to grow before we can safely re-engage the older ones. This brings up some key questions:
Who are the people in your relational orbit who draw you away from life in Christ?
Who are the people in your life who share your desire to get closer to the Lord?
How might you begin to draw away from old relationships (at least for a while) and draw closer to those who share your faith?
Lord Jesus, following after you is a life-changer for sure. And, as we’ve said many times in this space, Christianity is not a solo project. We need other believers in our lives to help us draw closer to you. Give us grace to recalibrate our relationships to embrace those who, like us, embrace you. We ask this in your holy name. Amen.