If God will lead, then I will follow…

By Crystal Garza

“If your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away.  It is better for you to lose part of your body and live forever than to have two hands and two feet and be thrown into the fire that burns forever.”  Matthew 18:8

Here lately I have been questioned about my decision to “cut off” some friendships and relationships. I have been criticized for this decision.  People telling me that it is me being judgemental or not giving others the love that God has given me.  I beg to differ.  I am cutting off “relationships” not cutting off the love.  Some people, I have chosen to love them from a distance.  I’m still praying for them but choosing to remove myself from dangerous relationships that have led me back to sin or back into a lifestyle I have worked so hard to stay away from.  This decision does not mean I do not love them anymore.  It just means that I am going on a different path and the path I’m on is very narrow…..there is no room for failure or sin.  As far as my love….my love for people in my past will always be in my heart and certainly in my prayers.  I do not wish anybody ill will and I pray for lifestyles and decisions to be changed and for new life to form in others.  I do this because I know what it is like to live in a world of darkness and sin.  I know what it is like to walk a very wide path with all the room in the world for toxic relationships and lots of sin. I also know what it is like to be delivered from all of the chaos.

It is human nature for us to fall into sin if we are around it all the time.  Monkey see, monkey do, right?

“Do not be fooled, bad friends will ruin good habits.”  1 Corinthians 15:33

This is true for me and I admit it, I’m not strong enough to stay out of temptations way once I am surrounded by it.  I’m weak.  I’m human.  I need Jesus.  We all have our own convictions and we each have a responsibility to do what we can to live out God’s will for our lives.

“You are not the same as those who do not believe.  So do not join yourselves to them.  Good and bad do not belong together.  Light and darkness cannot share together.”  2 Corinthians 6:14

Notice the word “join”.  This doesn’t say do not “love” them  or do not “pray” for them or do not “set a good example” for them.  This says “join”.  Loving others who are down a wide path does not mean we have to put ourselves in harms way or put our own salvation and own convictions at risk.  We each have a duty to be able to balance out this love for the lost.  Whether we like it or not our hearts are affected by the hearts we surround ourselves with.  That is why is it so important to watch our company.  Unfortunately, we live in Satan’s playground and he is always lurking around to steal, kill, and destroy.  With that being said, is your own conviction worth putting to the test just for the pure pleasure of being around others who can influence you in a negative way?  My answer to that question is “no”, it is not worth it to me.

Satan’s lurking and waiting for opportunity.

Sure I want to help spread the word of the Lord and I will do that with out being unequally yoked in my close relationships.  This decision isn’t just about what is best for me either but what is best for somebody in my life who is lost.  If I know I cannot resist the temptation of drinking alcohol and getting drunk then what good does it do myself or the other person for me to put myself in that environment and backslide and then leave the lost even more confused.  Or worse, looking at me with disgust thinking how hypocritical “Christians” are, then are turned away from Christianity for good.

Again, we each have our own convictions.  Drinking and bar hopping are mine.  I adore the thrill of meeting up with friends and getting that buzz and feeling like nothing in the world is bigger or better than me.  I love the thought of being out on a dance floor with a drink in my hand ready to party the night away.  The only problem with that adoration and love, is that I adore and love my God so much more.  The peace He has bestowed upon my life when I turned away from my sin is so immaculate and phenomenal.

“I will rejoice greatly in the Lord, My soul will exalt in my God; For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness.”  Isaiah 61:10

…and that my dear friends is so much more important to me than anything.  My relationship with God overrides any earthly relationship.

In God’s perspective everything is black and white.  There are no gray areas.  In God’s eyes we are either entering through the small gate or the wide gate, we are either traveling the narrow road or the wide road, we are either building on rock or building on sand, we are either wise or we are foolish, we are either prepared or unprepared, we are either fruitful or fruitless, and we are either Heaven called or hell bound.  Why do so many of us Christians live in the gray area when there is no gray area?  Why do so many of us live with one foot in the world and one foot with God.  It doesn’t work like that.  We have to make the choice to live for God.

My journey with God requires me to be aware of my convictions and my temptations and do what I can to put my relationship with Him first, ABOVE all other relationships.  It requires me to seek Him and His guidance for my life.  It requires me to have faith that I can and will live a pure and clean life for Him.  It requires me to know that I have both feet with Him and not one dangling in the world waiting for satan to come up and grab it and pull me back into his world.  Nothing is worth that risk.  Nothing.

By Crystal Garza | Freelance writer