March 14, 2022
11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
Ours is not to judge but to discern or ‘rightly divide’ what and who we know. If we know people who live contrary to how we have been taught to live through Christ Jesus, we must step away. We don’t judge, per se, we balance what we know of Jesus and what we know of a person and if the scale weighs in favor of Jesus, that person is acceptable for us to socialize with; conversely, if the scale weighs toward the person, step away. We are not judging – because when we judge we are judged as well by same measure – but we can see practices or leanings or understandings that don’t fit with being a Christian following in the feet of Jesus, and disassociate ourselves from them. Don’t condemn, don’t judge, don’t criticize – simply absent yourself from their society. Pray for the person that the Holy Spirit visit that person and crack the hardened heart and create within that person a desire and a need to learn Jesus.
Be jealous in being a Christian; jealous in that it’s our work to protect that name, that we who call ourselves Christians don’t sully it with the company we keep. Jesus could be with sinners because He was perfect and without sin and could not be ‘besmirched’, as we used to say. But we are definitely not Him and can bring ugliness to the name Christian if we’re not careful. Love your neighbor as yourself – of course – but that doesn’t mean we buddy up with those who walk a road that would bring shame on Christ’s name.