Issues Related to “Hanging Out”
Young people love to hang out, and they are often queried by parents regarding who their friends are. This note however is not about our kids. Rather it’s about adults and parents, and it raises questions about with whom they are socializing. Too often we lose sight of the fact that the company we keep influences our lives for good or not so good and reveals how these relationships affect our walk with the Lord. Witnessing to unbelievers is our biblical mandate. Camaraderie with them, i.e., friendship among people who spend a lot of time together, at least begs the question, “Who is influencing whom?”
Psalm 1, 1 Corinthians:5:11, and 15:33 include a few of the warnings related to the company a believer is to keep and not to keep. This also includes fellowship with professing Christians and even true believers whose worldly lives and beliefs don’t seem to reflect biblical Christianity. The ultimate check regarding a believer’s association with unbelieving friends is whether or not they feel free to share about their love for Jesus and His love for them. If there is a restriction against such sharing that they are willing to accept for the sake of keeping the relationship viable, that temporal relationship will end very likely with eternal separation-—the believer from them and they from God.
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” —1 John:2:15-17
T. A. McMahon