“But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.”
~ 1 Corinthians 5:11
I read this verse while doing my Bible study the other night. I advise reading the entire chapter to understand the context that this verse comes from, but I am not going to go into it here.
Perhaps some of you are thinking about a young unmarried couple in your church while reading this, or a man or woman who seems to like their glass of wine or beer a little too much. You may even have a situation where there are people who won’t go to church when there is a huge sporting even being shown on TV. I have heard of people taking little radios to weddings to keep track of the score – even the groom was in on the scam. Can sport really be an idol? I say that it can!
Now, I want you to stop thinking about these people in your church who I mentioned above. I want you to think as I do. Look into yourself. I am not talking only about right now, look back on your whole life since you became a Christian. Have you been sexually immoral (sex before marriage included)? Have you been greedy? Have you put something in your life in front of God (an idol)? Or perhaps spread malicious gossip? Have you had a tendency to drink a little too much at times? Have you looked for ways to cheat somebody out of money or anything else? I know that I have been guilty of at least 5 of the things mentioned above since I became a Christian.
How did the church treat you during those times? Did the other Christians around you know what was going on when you got home? For me, not everyone knew everything, but some would know about one thing, others would know something else and so on. I have discovered that even after a person makes changes to their life, reputations tend to stick around a lot longer.
Perhaps some of you reading this are going through the same thing right now. The reputation you had before you fully embraced God is still following you to this day. You may be feeling shunned at your church, as though nobody wants you around. I urge you to look at your life right now and determine if you are one of those people who Paul tells the other believers not to associate with! Have you ever been one of those people? That will explain a lot in how other believers treat you.
Decide to change your ways right now, at this very moment if you have not done so yet. You are not alone in this, others are walking along the same path as you! Rely on Jesus to walk with you every step of the way and He will. Be determined that you will not fall back into your old patterns. Live the life Jesus wants you to live!