Are you living in a holy huddle?
God cares who you’re friends with. The Bible reminds us of the importance of being involved in a local church. But Christians aren’t the only people God tells us to hang out with. Jesus also wants us to reach people far from God.
If we’re only spending time with other Christians, how can we obey God’s call to love and serve those far from God (Matthew 28:18-20)? And how can we love and serve them well if we don’t first build relationships?
Three Practical Ways to Avoid the Holy Huddle
1. Change the way you see non-Christians.
Jesus intersects our lives in different ways, at different paces. It’s a mistake to think we’re better than other people because of what God has done in us. To compare ourselves to others would be foolish because we are all born sinful and in need of God’s grace. Christians and non-Christians need of God’s love (Romans 5:8). Non-Christians just haven’t experienced it yet.
You can't love someone you don't know.
If you’re not a Christian, God still loves you as much as He loves those who are Christians. But He’s also patiently working a change in you to experience His transforming truth (2 Peter 3:9).
2. Go somewhere you normally wouldn’t.
There’s a common misconception that Christians aren’t supposed to spend time in places associated with sinners. That’s silly, and here’s why:
The apostle Peter went to the home of Cornelius, a Roman military commander who was a non-Jew (Acts 10:1-48). It was culturally inappropriate at that time, but God is all about breaking down barriers. When God instructed Peter to go to Cornelius’s home, Peter had the opportunity to preach to a large gathering of people! Because Peter was willing to cross cultural boundaries, God used him to introduce people to Jesus who otherwise wouldn’t have heard about Him.
3. Remember Jesus wants us to befriend people far from God.
As Christians, we are to live “in the world, but not of it”(John 17:15-18). That means no matter where we live, we shouldn’t be disconnected from people just because they’re different from us.
If we follow Jesus’s example, we must spend time with the needy, the broken and the lost. At one point, we were all like that! The only reason we are where we are is because God found us and changed our lives.
The point isn’t to have all Christian friends or all non-Christian friends. The point is to grow in community with other Christians while also helping outsiders to faith experience Jesus.