Jms. 4:4 “You [are like] unfaithful wives [having illicit love affairs with the world and breaking your marriage vow to God]! Do you not know that being the world’s friend is being God’s enemy? So whoever chooses to be a friend of the world takes his stand as an enemy of God.”
This verse brings to my mind the illustration of a young woman walking down the street with her sweetheart. They’re holding hands, laughing together, enjoying each other’s company and the love they share. A couple of thugs walk up behind them and begin to make negative comments about the young man. “He sure is ugly. What does HE have to offer HER? How in the world do you suppose he got that girl, anyway?” She smiles a little at that comment. “He’s a lousy dresser! I bet he’s clumsy, too.” They push him from behind so he stumbles and falls. When he falls, she laughs at how foolish he looks. One of the tormentors takes the young woman’s hand and pulls her toward him in an embrace. She walks away, laughing now with him.
We can be like that. Failing to take our stand against the insults of the world hurled at our Savior, choosing instead to laugh and go along, withdrawing from him for awhile until it’s more convenient to be his friend. He labels that kind of friend “enemy.”
“The spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely,” (verse 5). He is a jealous God, (Ex. 20:5). He does not take it lightly when we go off loving someone or something more than we love him – being friends with those who hate him. He will not tolerate divided loyalties between himself and the world.
In 1 John 2:19 he tells us that those who “go away” were never really “of us”, never really belonged to God at all. Those whose loyalties are divided in that manner have reason to question whether they belong to God at all.
I’ve been in situations where my God was being insulted and the best I could manage was to remove myself from the entire situation – just leave. I hope the next time I have more courage and will speak up. I’d like to do it in a way that proclaims my friendship with him without burning bridges he may want to use for his purposes in the future. Tricky. But when I’m lacking in wisdom I can ask him for it (Jms. 1:1-7).