Even my close friend . . . has turned against me. (Ps. 41:9)
As often as I’ve found myself in relationship with hurting people, I’ve also found myself counseling lost people. I don’t think I’m particularly qualified to offer such counsel, but I’ve tried my best to give the advice Christ would. Again and again, though, I have arrived in conversations at intersections: moments where speaking Christ into someone’s life risks the relationship.
In the twenty-first century, the church in the United States is shrinking. More than ever before, many people believe in nothing, and Christians aren’t always welcome in cultural conversations. We shouldn’t be too surprised; in many ways, we’ve made ourselves unwelcome. Whatever the reason, the sacrifice of following Christ sometimes means alienation, particularly in our modern American culture, and that’s never easy.
But we’re not alone. David, the writer of Psalm 41, was both celebrated as a king and shunned as an outcast. Our experiences may not vary that drastically. But even in the midst of such poor treatment by fickle people, David found comfort in a God who never changes.
In a quickly evolving world, where faith can lead to our isolation, we must remember that even when following Christ is simple, it rarely will be easy. Yet God, the unchanging, loyal, and loving friend to the friendless, will always be our rock.
Lean into God, even when following him alienates you.
Lindsey Priest is an Indiana Wesleyan University graduate and lives in Arkansas with her husband and two sons. She likes to read to the kids, play video games with her husband, and refurbish furniture.
© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.