Will I Have to Give Up My Friends to Follow Jesus?
Well, first, let’s look at this question a little bit. It makes a couple of assumptions, that if you really follow Christ, you’re going to become this boring, irrelevant person and your friends won’t be around you anymore. I’m not sure that’s true. But the fact of the matter is this: If you follow Christ, you’re going to probably not have some behaviors in your life, not have some relationships in your life you’ve had in the past. There is a price tag. Jesus said, “If anyone will come after me, let him deny himself, pick up his cross daily and follow me.”
Here’s the issue, is you can’t have it both ways. God loves you, but He is the master and the king of the universe and He’s the king of your heart. And as you surrender, He says, I want you to do life my way. And there are times where you give up some relationships. I remember early in my spiritual life I was a college basketball player and hanging out with the guys and running to different bars and doing stuff. It was cool and it made me in. I realized, you know something, I can’t continue in those behaviors. But you know something, after a few months, I didn’t go there with them. I didn’t give up those relationships. And, you know, on the court, I later had a couple of opportunities to actually share Christ with two or three of those guys. And a couple of guys came to Christ. I remember a fellow that was dating a girl who had attempted suicide and some horrendous things. It was because my life was different he came to me. And they both ended up getting married and coming to Christ.
You know, God’s plan is better, but there may be some short-term pain before there’s long-term gain. You know, that’s life in the kingdom. God loves you, but just as you make a sacrifice for people that you love, God is asking you to make some sacrifices for Him. That is part of walking with Jesus Christ.