2 Cor. 6:14-18
Do not be unequally bound together with unbelievers. For what partnership can righteousness have with lawlessness? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said: “I will dwell among them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. So come out from among unbelievers and be separate,” says the Lord, “and do not touch what is unclean; and I will graciously receive you and welcome you, and I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters,” says the Lord Almighty.
When it came to making childhood friends, the only threshold I knew was whether someone liked me enough to play with me. I did not have standards beyond that. My parents, however, were much more discerning. I can recall coming home from playing with kids in the neighborhood who they had never met and practicing a new bad habit or saying something I should not say. Usually, confessing where I learned these bad traits would result in my parents forbidding me from playing with those who taught them to me. It was not that my parents thought I was better than these kids who did and said what they wanted regardless of whether it was good or bad. It was that I was different because I had been raised not to behave that way.
Some things are explicitly clear in our faith. One abundantly clear truth is that the children of Satan are raised much differently than the children of God. Those of us who spent years or decades practicing evil before accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior can attest to this. God raises his children so that they will be holy as He is holy. [1 Pet. 1:15] He raises his children to produce life-giving fruit instead of sowing death and destruction. There are two groups of people who are reared in completely different ways, and it should be clear to which group we belong. It is not a matter of being better but of being different and being better off. We cannot fellowship with those who desire to sow death into our lives or who try to influence us to do the same.
Sometimes our Father will ask us to encourage our worldly acquaintances for good, and sometimes He will simply instruct us to keep our distance. There is a progression to our faith, and we should be less and less worldly as we grow closer and closer to God. Over time, the distinction between us and the world should be more glaring. We are in the world but not of the world, and that means we sometimes must separate ourselves from part of the world in order to exhibit our holiness. If we are children of God, then we are to steer clear of that which is common among and emblematic of the children of Satan. Father, thank You for making us separate from the world, and remind us through your Holy Spirit when we are becoming worldlier instead of holier.