Christians should reach out to others, not avoid them
Q: I’ve tried to befriend a young man I work with who seems lonely, and have even invited him to our home for dinner several times. But he’s always refused, and finally he told me that he is a Christian and isn’t supposed to be friends with anyone who isn’t a Christian. Is this what the Bible teaches? — O.L.
A: No, it isn’t what the Bible teaches. Christians are called to love others and have compassion on them when they are hurting — but how can we do this, if we cut ourselves off from them?
After all, Jesus didn’t cut Himself off from us — in spite of our sin and rebellion. The Bible says He left heaven’s glory and walked among us, reaching out to those who needed to know God loved them. Even when someone rejected Him (as the rich young ruler did — see Mark 10:17-22), the Bible says He still loved them and wanted them to be part of His kingdom. One of the charges His enemies made against Him was that He was “a friend of tax collectors (who were despised and assumed to be corrupt) and ‘sinners’” (Luke 7:34).
At the same time, the Bible does warn us against becoming corrupted by the unbelieving world and living by its false values. The Bible warns, “Don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God” (James 4:4).
Perhaps you have never thought much about God and how He wants you to live. But God still loves you; He loves you so much that He sent His Son into the world to give His life for you. May this truth come alive for you — and it will, as you ask Christ to come into your life.
Send your questions to “My Answer,” c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; or visit www.billygraham.org.