But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. - 2 Timothy 3:1 (NASB)
When we understand God is love, it can be hard to deliberately avoid certain types of people, in which God commands us. Here is a list from scripture in verses 2-5 of 2 Timothy:
For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.
This is quite a list, so how do we love and avoid at the same time? How do we shine for the Lord and guard our heart while avoiding? (Matthew 5:16; Proverbs 4:23). One thing I learned after hearing a clear voice in my head saying to me “If it’s not okay with God, then it’s not okay with me.” And if confronted with what I must avoid I can let my speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that I will know how to respond to each person as God instructs. (Colossians 4:6). I now know I can be salty with grace at the same time I avoid.
There are people who may come into our lives from that list who can lead us away from the teaching of Christ, and we mustn’t be deceived, because bad company corrupts good morals. (1Corinthians 15:33). The more we know Jesus and His attributes, the more we will feel secure with what relationships to nurture or avoid.
Heavenly Father, give us Your wisdom when dealing with those who need Your grace and the salt of Your truth, give us courage to speak when needed and to avoid when we must, so that You may be glorified either way.
This devotion by author, Terrie Miles, is exclusively and solely shared with permission to New Beginnings Church. Any unauthorized printed reproduction, sharing or use of this material is prohibited.