Seek First The Kingdom of God And Its Righteousness (Matthew 6:33)
Another inevitable human phenomenon that could either be a means or an obstacle to attaining heaven is: HUMAN RELATIONSHIP. By this, I mean the different forms of friendships, associations, acquittance or companies we keep as human beings. Undoubtedly, no human being can live independently from others. For God in His infinite wisdom made us as ‘relational beings’. That is to say, we are social animals, who are in need of our follow human beings to develop adequately and achieve our full potentials in life. Hence, we are in constant need of one form of RELATIONSHIP or another.
Unarguably therefore, Relationship is a need and is at the core of our human existence and survival. However, as Christians we must be extremely careful of the kinds of relationship we keep. For they could either serve as means of SALVATION or means of DAMNATION. The kind of association one keeps can either challenge one to seek God’s ways, or undermines God’s ways. Some relationships have led some people to God, (like in the case of Philip leading his friend Nathaniel to Jesus); while others, have led some astray from God. Thus, the kind of company we keep is very Paramount.
Consequently, Saint Paul would warn us saying, “Do not be deceived, bad company corrupt good morals. Sober down and give up sin, because some of you have never really known God; I say this to your shame” (1 Cor. 15:33-34). Again, reemphasizing this point in another way, he would say in 2 Cor. 6:14-17, “Do not make unsuitable covenant with those who do not believe; can justice walk with wickedness? Or can light co-exist with darkness, and can there be harmony between Christ and Satan? What can a believer have in common with one who does not believe? Can we put together God’s temple and idols?”
From the aforesaid, I would like us to examine ourselves by asking some mind probing questions. The relationships we keep, do they lead us to God, or do they lead us away from God? Do they lead us on the path of Righteousness or on the path of Wickedness? Do they make us better Christians and persons or do they make us do things we regret? Do they lead us constantly on the path of sexual immoralities and other vices, or do they help us to combat our human frailties? These and other similar questions like these we should ask ourselves as individuals. We should not deceive ourselves; rather, tell ourselves the Truth. For it is only the Truth that will set us free.
You will agree with me, that most of us at one point in our lives have directly or indirectly been influenced by friends or colleagues. And we have done regrettable things that we are not proud of. I know of men and women who defile their matrimonial beds, because of the kind of company they keep. I know of girls who committed abortions because they wanted to belong. What about those who have been initiated to the occults, or other forms of criminalities simply because of their friends. Many today are alcoholics, drug addicts, gamblers, homosexuals, lesbians, thrives, fornicators etc., because of associations. Some are into expensive lifestyles that they cannot afford because they want to remind in that association.
From my experience, I believe that many of us would have been better Christians and would have grown spiritually beyond the stage we are now if not for the relationships we keep. To please our friends and colleagues some us hide our faith, we compromise on our Christian VALUES. Most times because we are afraid of been mocked or not to be called a ‘Jew’ guys, we found ourselves doing things we ordinarily would not have done just to maintain Relationships. A lot of our young people today are entangled in immoral relationships because of marriage or financial benefits. There are those who have made the decision for Christ, but for the fear of been rejected they still remain there. My simple advise is: CHOOSE BETWEEN GOD AND THAT RELATIONSHIP.
On this note, I will like to conclude this discourse with a reminder from Jesus about separating ourselves from bad relationships. He said, “so if your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away! It is much better for you to lose a part of your body than to have your whole body thrown into hell. If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away! It is better for you to lose a part of your body than to have your whole body thrown into hell” (Mat. 5:29-30).