“Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (James 4:4)
Various Bible verses make a clear distinction between “friendship with the world” and “friendship with God”. These are contradictory and exclude each other. “The world” here does not mean “the earth we are living on”, but humanity in its opposition to God, which results in moral corruption and evil. When someone comes to faith and becomes a friend of God, he can no longer live according to the world’s standards. This is a struggle internally, since he has to change his behavior and habits. But it can also lead to conflicts with his friends or closest family members. As Jesus foretold his disciples: “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Our allegiance to Jesus can separate us from our loved ones if they don’t accept our changed world view, and this is hard. But the solution is not to make a compromise. The verse from James 4 makes absolutely clear that such a compromise is impossible. We have to choose sides. God demands our full devotion.
Whose friend are you?