Friday, September 21, 2018

The “Rub Off” Effect

It usually happens without our even knowing. We have changed. But we have not even realized what we’ve experienced. It takes another person, someone who knows us well to say, “You’re different. Something’s happened to you.”

We protest, but they insist. We ask for evidence and they mention some little things we have started to do which we explain away as being inconsequential. Yet, we are bothered by their observation and wonder if by some chance they might be right. We ask ourselves, “What could cause me to change?””

Every personal relationship has a “rub off” effect. In some cases, it is minimal, in others it is life changing. People we spend time with begin to influence our way of thinking, speaking and acting. The more time we spend with them and the greater we value their friendship determines the amount of “rub off” they have on us.

In some cases, the “rub off” is very positive. We encounter people who raise us up, morally and intellectually. Unfortunately, it is more often true that we tend to take on the negative influences of other people. This is exactly what happened to the people of Israel after they received the Promised Land of Canaan from God. Instead of driving out the people who had inhabited the land, the Israelites intermingled with them and within a short time became just like them.

The book of Judges is one of the darkest and most depressing of the Bible because it registers the history of a people chosen by God to be his instruments of rescue and redemption falling headlong into an abyss of sexual perversion, brutal violence and idol worship. The “rub off” effect of the Canaanites on the Israelites was overwhelming.

Spiritual compromise is as relevant a subject today as it was at the time of the Judges. At first it seems harmless, even tolerant. But in the end, many Christians find they have lost their relationship with Christ and become imitators of our culture. If you sense a little too much of non-Christian thinking has rubbed off on you, join us for one of our weekend services. It may be time to take a stand.

* If you would like to participate in the Story Bible series but have not yet received your copy of the Story Bible, please respond to this e-mail and we’ll get one out to you.

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Hawaii Lutheran Church (WELS)

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Honolulu, HI
Community Lutheran Church holds protestant chapel services in Honolulu, Hawaii near Pearl Harbor, HI. We are next to the USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Hickam Air Force Base, and Fort Shafter Hawaii. Look for us directly behind the Salt Lake, Hawaii, Target.