By: Undre Griggs, Jr.
We all have goals and aspirations; we want to be better at this and we want to learn that. Somewhere along the way our goals may have changed. It is important we understand that change was likely driven by what we learned and experienced along the way. As we have successes, we have a choice that can lead us to pursue greater endeavors or to become comfortable in our achievements. It is equally probable, we may have encountered failures that have caused our aspirations to dwindle or motivated us to pursue even more earnestly. Other times, it is our life experiences that have provided clarity to what makes us happy and what is truly valuable.
1 John 5:4-5 (ESV): For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
After joining the church, we can find ourselves conflicted with what we “want to do” and what we “want to do”. We may want to continue those friendships with people that we use to hang out with. We don’t want to come off as if we think we are better; and more importantly, we genuinely enjoyed their company. They helped us through tough times and they continually showed us they have the best intensions. While at the same time, we want to live a life that Christ can be proud of. We want to honor His sacrifice on the cross for our sins and we understand how difficult that can be.
1 Corinthians 9:25-27 (NKJV): And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
Our goal is to preach the gospel to all who will listen and that includes our friends and family. Just sharing our faith with them may be enough to provoke a change in their life. Our faith has the power to “overcome the world” and we should cherish our opportunities to share the gospel with those we love. Obedience to our faith may not enable us to partake in the same type of activities we use to, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find other interesting things to do with our friends. To be clear, change is difficult for all of us and it may be too much for the relationship to bear (for a time); but we cannot compromise our faith. If some would rather we forsake our Christ-centered aspirations to keep things the “way they use to be”; that person is not our friend (1 Corinthians 15:33). Friends encourage us to pursue our dreams and are willing to be an active participant in ensuring its success. Friends appreciate honest council and will understand when we share our faith; we are coming from a place of love and not arrogance.