School children of a certain age begin to form exclusive friendships – I’ve got 3 children at school – and oh the great dramas and tears that play out when the ‘best friend’ has declared that they are nolong best friends b/c they’ found a new ‘bestie’. It’s like the end of the world!
Oh course – these crises are short lived b/c…. they grow out of it…
In other respects though, exclusivity is the very essence of a relationship – marriage is the obvious example.
In the bible, the exclusive partnership of marriage is often used as an image of the exclusive claims of God on us.
In our reading of James 4 today, He uses the accusation ‘adulterers’ – not to accuse his readers of actual adultery, but to warn them that ‘being friends with the world means being enemies with God.
You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.
It’s so important, he says it twice!
If you live you life – following the patterns and rhythms of the non-believing world….drifting along within the narrative of the world,…. wanting, expecting, & dreaming for the same things what they want, and being motivated by those things – and behave in the same way – the chances are – you will become ‘friends with the world – you will look ..and sound just like them…
It’s takes guts to stand out and be different. To be a friend of God we need to tame the desires the world holds.
Your relationship with him is exclusive, there’s no room for anything else.