Everyone knows you can learn a great deal about a person by who their friends are. We can also know you can learn a lot about someone by who their enemies are. At our house, we often dispensed those words of wisdom (and instruction) to our children, “Be careful who you hang out with!” Should Christians have such an attitude?
The question can be answered from more than one vantage point. We will look at one as we consider the “company” we keep. As Americans, we like to think we have everything together, that we are in charge and in command. In its proper place, that is not a bad attitude. However, it can quickly become a problem in our Christian life and in the God’s church. We need to lose ourselves in our walk with the Lord. We must decrease so He may increase. That may sound scary, but it can put us in a very good company of “losers”!
Lose To Gain!
Isaiah comes to mind first. He said in his vision of God (Isaiah 6),
Woe is me, for I am undone!
He lost sight of himself. He was no longer his own focal point. He knew his position before Almighty God and knew his need of all God is. Isaiah was a “loser” when it came to self. And God used him in great ways.
Next, I think of King David. His preoccupation with self disrupted his life, his family, and his nation. When he let go of himself, he wrote that awesome prayer of forgiveness: Psalm 51. In verse 17 He said:
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.
Then there is a pair of men who lost themselves to the point of physical abuse. Unjustly beaten and chastised, they were put into a Roman jail. Self-focused people would have complained about the injustice of it all. But these “losers” spent the night bleeding, worshiping, and leading others to Christ (see Acts 16). There was nothing to lose because one of these men (Paul) would write in Philippians 1:21 –
For me to live is Christ, to die is gain!
This could go on, but the point is made. We really can tell a great deal about Christians by the company they desire to keep. Do they try to keep up with those who consider themselves large-and-in-charge? Do they keep company with other “losers” that know we must lose our lives in order to find them!
What have you got to lose? Be a good loser. Why? Godliness, with contentment, is great gain!