"You have no part with us in building a temple to our God. We alone will build it for the Lord, the God of Israel, as King Cyrus, the king of Persia, commanded us." - Ezra 4:3---- The Israelites had begun to build the temple but those around them didn't want to see them finish it. So they offered to help, with the intention of disrupting the work and even stopping it. They saw that the Israelites were different and were afraid and so wanted to see their project fall on its face.
---- We as Christians also have to be careful that those around us do not influence us in such a way as to lead us away from God. Being a Christian is having a personal relationship with Jesus and involves first and foremost ourselves. We will of course learn from other Christians around us and from our study of the bible and through communicating with God. But we must be make sure that we are careful to examine everything for ourselves so that we can distinguish the truth from those whose words will cause us to trip up.
---- We have to make sure that we don't take the advice about how to live our life from a non-Christian as they do not know God. As Jesus prayed in Gethsemane, we must be in the world but not of it. We must not isolate ourselves from the world but we must take care that the world does not dictate our actions or interfere with what God has called us to do. We have to build our relationship with God ourselves and we must take care that nothing interferes with this.
Written by Stephen Ogston