How to be a successful Christian

How to be Successful as a Christian

            Last night I spoke to my youth group on a topic that I consider of vast importance to the Body of Christ but one that has been greatly overlooked in the past.  Our western culture has relegated our walk with Christ as something that is private and just between us and God.  However if you were to talk to someone who lived in the time of the early church I am sure they would have a different opinion on the matter.  Additionally it can be seen in the Bible simply by searching out the phrase “One another.”  You will see the epistle writers had many admonishments in regard to how we interact with “One another.” I believe they understood that we are all in this together and it is difficult if not impossible to stay on track with God by yourself.
          A minister once told me, “A friend is someone who is concerned about your eternal destiny.”  I have changed it slightly to “A friend is someone who cares more about your destiny than they care about your acceptance.”  Simply this means, I don’t care if you get mad at me I need to help you walk rightly before the Lord.
          Believe me when I tell you this is more than theory to me.  Once four years ago or so when my wife and I were just dating we arranged a camping trip with a group of friends from Ohio to West Virginia.  All of our friends from Ohio cancelled at the last minute.  Well Heather and I went on the trip anyway with her father and my friend Brian.  We had a fun weekend and we returned to our church unaware there could be a problem.  A few days later I am approached by my Ministry Captain and friend Dale, who confronts me on rumors circulating around our trip.  It was rumored that Heather and I went camping by ourselves.  As you can imagine for a man called to ministry this may be a problem.
          Fortunately, I was able to explain to Dale that her dad had been with us as well as my friend Brian.  The rumors were easily squashed, and I found out that Dale was a true friend because he cared enough to approach me in that situation.  There are very few people in my life who cared enough about me to confront me with an issue that would be harmful to my future.  We all need that kind of accountability and community in our lives.  We all need a circle of true friends that know us enough to call us out on issues that need a confrontation.  Even if we are not protecting our selves from active sin, we are told to encourage one another in the Lord.  When we get tired of well doing, sometimes we need someone else to pull to help us along, later we can return the favor.  Don’t be fooled into thinking you can make it on your own, Jesus didn’t even try to do that.  He had his inner circle of disciples that although I hesitate to say he needed encouraged I think he was setting an example of how we are to live.
          The long and short of it is this, find someone to walk through this journey with you.  I had to pray for that someone when I first became a Christian and maybe you will need to do the same but God will provide someone for you to call a friend, and it will make your walk a much easier, more successful one.

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