Bad Influence

Written on 11/01/2021
Christian Dunn

Verse: ‭‭Galatians‬ ‭4:17-20‬ ‭

“Those people are zealous to win you over, but for no good. What they want is to alienate you from us, so that you may have zeal for them. It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good, and to be so always, not just when I am with you. My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, how I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, because I am perplexed about you!”

As I read this today, it made me wonder which people are zealous to win us over today, "but for no good"? What messages are we hearing that would tell us something different than the Bible? Who is trying to "win us over" away from the way of Jesus?

In your life it could be friends, classmates, teammates, or even teachers or professors. There are plenty of people who will disagree with the Christian worldview. This could be overt too. I remember when I was in college, I was a philosophy minor, and I took several courses on religion. The professor was distinctly against Christianity. 

So you might encounter that from an intellectual point of view. But you also might encounter it from an emotional and relational point of view. You might find that people treat you differently because of your faith, or even treat you poorly.

What do we do in response? The people that Paul is writing to were being influenced to change their beliefs in God. They were feeling pressure to agree with the people who were trying to convince them. And Paul was desperately trying to keep them from being duped into a wrong belief set.  His hope was that "Christ would be formed" in them, so that they wouldn't be swayed, influenced, or duped into believing wrong beliefs.

I wonder this morning if there is anything in my life, or in your life, that Paul would encourage us to let go of. I wonder if there are any beliefs about ourselves, others, or God that we need to break away from? Ask the Holy Spirit today to reveal this to you. Ask him to show you where you are being influence away from Jesus in your life. He is SO loving and kind. He is not angry with you. Seek his truth, and he will lovingly guide you.

Jesus, it can be hard to discern what is true in all the messages we hear each day. I pray for wisdom to understand what is your truth, and what is a lie.