Read | 1 Corinthians 15:33-34
In an ideal environment, all our relationships would draw us closer to the Lord. However, we live in a fallen world with sinful people, so that is not our reality. God wants us to influence those who aren’t walking obediently with Him, but unless we’re careful, we could easily end up following them. How are we to deal with relationships that drag us down instead of building us up?
Prayer: Your first step is to pray for the people who tend to pull you away from the Lord. It’s not your job to change them, but you can ask God to work in their lives. And don’t forget to ask Him to give you the wisdom and patience you need in your interactions with them.
Separation: You may have to break off a relationship if it’s hindering your Christian walk. However, this should be done only after much prayer and wise counsel. And remember, some relationships are meant to be permanent, so listen carefully to what God is telling you.
Perseverance: If the negative relationship never changes, and the Lord is not calling you to break off association with that person, then He wants you to persevere in the situation. Your goal is to walk faithfully with your heavenly Father despite any hindrances or opposition.
If you struggle with negative relationships, cultivate friendships with godly people who can help you grow in your faith. Spend time in God’s Word, filling your mind with truths that anchor your soul in stormy situations. Persevere in walking faithfully with Christ–you may even influence the other person.
Dr. Charles Stanley