February 23, 2010

Socializing With Sinners

Written by Boyd Bailey

Socializing With Sinners… “While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and “sinners” came and ate with him and his disciples.” Matthew 9:10

Is socializing with sinners ok? Yes, and even preferred if your heart is to love them to Jesus. When you enter the home of someone who has yet to enter the narrow gate of heaven, you honor them with your presence. You can be with sinners and not be like sinners. In fact, we are all sinners, but Christ followers are sinners saved by grace.

You have an acquaintance that has just come to Christ. Providently, they still have friends that are outside of the faith. The Lord has placed you in their life to model for them how to reach out to the unrighteous. New believers, in their zeal, have to make sure they channel their passion into a productive, not a destructive process. It is the relational investment of love and listening that makes righteousness attractive to the unrighteous.

So whom do you know who is a new believer, that you can invest your time learning the Scriptures and socializing with their sinner friends? Authentic faith does not eat alone in judgment, but invites outsiders in to experience true grace. Christianity is first caught before it can be taught. How can you be intentional in your investment of others?

You say: “I am not very sociable and really don’t like being in groups of people.” This is understandable, but is being a Jesus follower about your comfort and preferences? No, it’s placing yourself in situations that require prayer, patience and acceptance. You now know better, but outsiders are still lost looking for their God-given purpose in life.

“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity” (Colossians 4:5). Wisdom looks for ways to work into the lives of those that need the Lord. Indeed, be prayed up and accountable, so you are not drawn into their unruly ways. Perhaps you start with your neighbors and begin initiating acts of kindness so that you earn their trust and respect. You still fellowship with believers, but also socialize with sinners.

“Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy” (1 Peter 3:15, The Message).

Who do I know who is a new believer? How can I help them love on their lost friends?

Related Readings: Judges 14:4; Psalm 1:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:11-13; 1 Timothy 3:7

Transformational Living
What did I learn from the Lord in today’s Bible reading? How will I respond?


  1. Audie Hankins says:

    Thank you so much for this days devotion. I do have a friend who is a new Christian and was wondering how I could help him. I appreciate where God lead me today, to your website to read today’s devotion. Praise God.

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