I am not a scientist, or even a Science major. In fact, I have to say a big “Thank God!” to the fact that Regent University offers transfer credits so that I do not have to take another science class ever again. Now that we’ve established that I am not an expert on the subject, let me tell you one thing I do know.
Science impacts your relationships. Specifically, gravity.
Gravity is what holds us all down on the Earth. It is the force that makes it easy to lift a feather but not a TV. Gravity pulls at us every day.
So what does this all have to do with your relationships? Simple. The Bible lays it out this way: “Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for ‘bad company corrupts good character.’” (1 Corinthians 15:33, NLT) Paul is quoting the Greek poet, Menander. In another letter to the Corinthians, Paul warns them again, “Don’t become partners with those who reject God. How can you make a partnership out of right and wrong? That’s not partnership; that’s war. Is light best friends with dark? Does Christ go strolling with the Devil? Do trust and mistrust hold hands?” (2 Corinthians 14-15, The Message)
Paul is warning the Corinthian church that when they surround themselves with people who aren’t believers in Christ, they run the risk of their own faith wavering. This principle hasn’t changed. If all of my relationships are with non-believers, then where is the Godly influence in my life? Who is nudging me closer to God in my walk? If the only influence around me is away from God, then how will I be able to maintain momentum toward God?
A simple look at gravity means that it will never be as easy for you to lift another person to your level of faith as it will be for them to drag you down. It is easier, by far, to fall away. Try an experiment: Stand on a chair and have a friend take your hand. Try to pull them up on the chair with you. Now ask them to pull you down. No matter how much you plant your feet and leverage your strength, gravity guarantees that it will be easier for them to pull you down than for you to pull them up.
“But Erin,” (I can hear you say) “what about Jesus? He hung out with sinners and He was fine!” Well, yes, but you and I are not the Son of God. I am a weak, flesh-minded, carnal person without the Holy Spirit to guide me. Jesus also “hung out” with sinners– they weren’t His closest friends or His trusted advisors. For those, He chose 11 strong believers (and one who fulfilled prophecy instead) who prayed with Him, ate with Him, and taught with Him.
As believers, we are called to bring light into this dark world. We must build relationships with people who don’t know Jesus, so that we can make the introduction. But our closest relationships, whether friends or romantic partners, must be grounded in Christ. Otherwise, we are going to fall. Our light will be snuffed out by the dark, rather than impacting it the way we hoped.
Find someone to be a mentor to you. Someone who is stronger in their faith and in their daily spiritual habits (praying, reading their Bible, sharing their faith) than you are. Learn from them and pray that God would keep you both strong and growing in your faith.
And if you’ve realized that perhaps your friendships are dragging you down, ask God to help you pull them up, or ask God to show you some new friends who are spiritually better for you. It won’t be easy, but doing nothing is a whole different scientific force… that’s inertia. (I think.)
(Awesome feet photo credit goes to Jeff Brown of Jeff Brown Films.)bible study, friends, mentoring, Regent University, relationships, school