Unholy Alliances By Michael Owens
As a teenager, a large part of your life revolves around your friends and what you do when you’re with them. Your companions are “alliances,” or relationships that have the potential to influence you either for God or Satan. Therefore, it is important that you choose them carefully.
An alliance is “a close association, or an ally; a person who is joined to you for a common purpose.” A holy alliance is a friendship that is spiritually pure. In it, you and your friend come together for a common purpose that glorifies God. Unholy alliances, on the other hand, don’t reflect God’s purposes and lead you down the wrong path, causing you to compromise your values.
The Word of God must be your final authority for you to be able to recognize and get rid of unholy alliances. Beware of how God feels about the people in your life so that you have a clear standard established. Anyone who doesn’t encourage you in your walk with Him or who leads you into compromising situations and activities has the potential to destroy your relationship with God.
Don’t think that an unholy alliance is a person who you barely know; the person could very well be someone you’ve known all your life. No matter how long you’ve known him or her, if it is an unholy alliance, you need to cut it loose.
The choices you make now, particularly where your friends are concerned, have the potential to affect every area of your life. When you are led by your emotions, or by what feels good at the time, you are setting yourself up to fall. Your feelings will change, but God’s Word doesn’t. He wants the best for you, even in your friendships.
Beside all of the bad things that can result from hanging out with the wrong crowd, like getting into trouble with the law, hurting your family, an unwanted pregnancy and addictions, your spiritual future is on the line when you hook up with the wrong folks. First Corinthians 15:33 (AMP) says, “Do not be so deceived and misled! Evil companionships (communion, associations) corrupt and deprave good manners and morals and character.” When you link up with people who are headed toward hell, you corrupt your own spiritual life and run the risk of following them as well. You don’t want to take that chance.
If you are walking in disobedience to God, you are walking with the Devil—this is the ultimate unholy alliance. As a result, you separate yourself from God and His protection. This leaves you wide open for the enemy to destroy you. Satan may try to deceive you by sending the “cutest” guy or girl in school your way only to eventually ruin your life by leading you into sexual sin.
Unholy alliances usually start with a very casual or innocent invitation to “have fun” in a way that goes against God’s Word. There are countless reports of young people who have gone “joy riding,” and before the night was over, their parents received a call to either come to the police station, the hospital or the morgue. Taking that first hit of weed or trying sex just once will open the door to a lifestyle that will be hard to break free from. Usually, your “first” time doing anything is introduced through an unholy alliance.
Not being a part of the “in” crowd right now may not be winning you a lot of popularity points, but remember that while sin has its pleasure for a season, the Devil always requires a pay back (Hebrews 11:25; Romans 6:23). When you stay connected to God’s way of doing things, you have a greater reward promised to you—eternal life. I know that no one wants to be alone or unpopular, but it is better to stand alone and live right than to face the consequences of wrong relationships.
The Bible shows us that we should not be in close fellowship with people who don’t share our lifestyles. Second Corinthians 6:14-17 (NIV) says, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?...For we are the temple of the living God...Therefore come out from them and be separate…Touch no unclean thing and I will receive you.” Don’t you want God to receive you? Then honor Him by separating yourself from people who aren’t living right. It’s not to say that you shouldn’t walk in love toward them, but don’t allow them to get close to the point that they begin affecting your walk with God.
You should be the type of friend that sets an example of light, not darkness; power, not poor character. Matthew 5:14 says, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.” Don’t let your light be hidden by unholy alliances.
To have holy friendships, you must make a decision to change your mind about the types of people with whom you fellowship. To determine if you are in an unholy alliance, ask yourself these questions:
1. Have my friends asked me to do things that I know are wrong?
2. Am I always getting in trouble when I’m around certain friends?
3. When I am with this person, do I cause or in any way help to cause embarrassment, pain or harm to others?
4. Do I have conversations with my friends that I would not feel comfortable with my parents hearing?
5. Do my friends serve the same God I serve or do we believe differently and are going separate ways? (Not to say that you don’t love them, but it must be an understanding of your love for Jesus and His finished works for everyone)
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you are in an unholy alliance, and you need to walk away from it. You probably feel reluctant to just “drop” your friends, but count the cost. Is holding on to an unholy alliance worth sacrificing your walk with God? Of course not! Break free by following these practical steps:
1. Repent for your own behavior.
2. Pray for your friends before you approach them, and ask God about what to say, how to say it and when to talk to them. He will give you the right words.
3. Tell your friends about the choices you are making in your own life.
4. Share the love of God by giving your testimony about how you’ve changed as a result of coming to know Jesus.
5. Give them the option of walking with you.
6. If your friends refuse to change, let them know that you understand that it’s not easy and that you love them and will be there for them if they need to talk, but that you can’t hang with them like you used to.
7. Pray for God to send you new friends.
8. If your friends invite you to do things that you know are wrong, let them know that you can’t participate.
Letting go of unhealthy relationships isn’t easy. However, it is your relationship with Jesus that will give you the advantage and courage you need to stand strong while making the change. If you stay true to your convictions, God will send friendships your way that build you up and glorify Him.