Ever heard of Simeon Stylites? Back in the a.d. 400s, Simeon decided the world was a spiritually dangerous place to live. So he constructed a small platform on top of a stone pillar and lived there . . . for over 30 years!
The idea of Christians escaping the tempting world persists even to our day. From parents who choose Christian education to keep their kids away from unbelievers to Christians who spend all of their free time worshiping, studying, serving, and playing sports with other members of the church, Simeon’s spirit is alive and well. Some experts believe it takes only two to three years for new Christians to lose their friendships with their non-Christian former friends.
But listen to Jesus’ prayer: “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one” (John 17:15). Jesus did not want his followers to be separated from the world. Protected from temptation, yes. Isolated from unbelievers, no.
Why would that be? Because Jesus knew that faith comes from hearing the message, and so few have actually heard the message. Amidst all the noise, pop-up ads, and “be a good person” versions of Christianity, often all it takes for someone to actually hear the gospel of Jesus Christ is a friend who believes the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Is there a non-Christian you could invest in this week? Let your light shine so that those living in darkness might see your good deeds and praise our Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16)!