Of all the five topics we have talked about, this one is the most removed from the others. It isn't tied to our possessions, how we spend our time or what we pursue in life. It is something that we as humans actually need to feel sustained. It's Social Interactions. Humanity thrives when we connect and communicate with each other. However, that which makes us thrive can also suffocate us when we over consume. Find out how we can find the correct balance of social connections and grow our walk with God and influence with those we connect below.
Empowered But With An Unhealthy Desire
Samson was given an amazing gift. He had the ability to call on the Name of the LORD and be filled with power from on high. He could take on the enemies of Israel with his bare hands and was poised to deliver a great victory and bring Israel out of oppression. He was going to be remembered as a modern Moses and Joshua rolled into one. What an honor.
However, we know the story all too well. Samson fell to temptation and was lured in by Delilah. He gave away the source of his power and watched as his life fell apart all around him. He lost the blessings God had given him and was the object of ridicule for the enemy that he once defeated time and again. This downfall didn't start with Samson losing his hair, though. It didn't even begin with Delilah. Samson's downfall began with an unhealthy desire to relate with the world and those who were immersed in it's culture (Judges 14:1).
The Devil Behind Your Social Interaction
Samson's story speaks to us today. We have been given an amazing blessing through salvation in the infilling of the Holy Ghost and Baptism in His Name. Through that saving and sanctifying process, we are imbued with power from on high. We have the ability to do great things for God's Kingdom with this power. We can see the lives of those around us changed. We can win lost loved ones, friends and strangers through this power. We can lay hands on the sick and they shall recover. We can overcome the devil and his wicked ways. We can do it all through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13).
However, the devil knows how to use the allure of social interactions with the world to sway us. He even disguises it as witnessing opportunities. If we'll go hang out and do worldly things with unsaved and wayward people, that will open up the channels to their deliverance he tells us. We find ourselves tempted with opportunites to go to places and do things that we know are outside of the will of God. Whether it is a barroom, a wild party, a person's bedroom or more, we find ourselves in places and situations we would never have been in if we denied the voice of temptation and gone after God.
These interactions and the temptations behind them work to get us wrapped up into social ineractions that pull us away from the once connection that matters: Jesus. Without that connection to Christ, we lose direction for the cause He has given us and the power He provides us. Once that happens, we'll start to notice that the social interactions we gained aren't so great. The friendships and relationships we valued over God quickly turn hollow and unhealthy. We'll find ourselves like Samson: in darkness and alone, the source of mockery of the enemy that tricked us.
The True Way To Interact With The World
Note, this doesn't mean we aren't to get involved in the lives of those outside of God's Kingdom. We are called to serve under the cause of winning souls (Matthew 28:19) The only way to do this is by interacting with those who don't have a relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus even spent time with sinners (Matthew 9:10) However, we don't win them on their ground but ours. We invite them to our accepted places of involvment and to our functions. When they extend an invitation, we must check to ensure that it is not something that will compromise our relationship with God. If they don't understand that when we refuse, we shouldn't judge them. Just offer the opportunity to explain it further. Getting into a dialogue about those kinds of things may be awkward, but it could also pull them back from the brink of destruction.
By Subtracting from our Social Interactions those things which would hinder our walk and harm our witness, we open ourselves up to greater opportunities to witness to others and grow God's Kingdom. Even more, we show our commitment to the one relationship that matters. God rewards his faithful servants with greater opportunites. Just wait and see what opportunity is yours.
Chris Farris is the author of The Way, a manual detailing how to implement the Beatitudes into your life. He review events and other media and offers other insights into writing and working for the Kingdom of God.