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Faithful Friends and Cons

Galatians 4:17-20

In the fall of 1971 Dave Lowery sat beside me in Beginning Greek at Dallas Seminary. Dave became my close friend and was at my side as we started Midlothian Bible Church in ’73. When we needed a wise elder to help start Waxahachie Bible Church, Dave was the man, and now he is an assistant to his son, Daniel, who is pastoring Lakeview Community Church.

I could always trust Dave, depend upon his loyalty, learn from his objective, godly counsel, and to be a formidable opponent in Trivial Pursuit as our families enjoyed annual Thanksgiving times together. Faithful friends are priceless, but when friendship is feigned for personal advantage, it is ugly.

The Apostle Paul reminded the Galatians of the loving personal relationship they enjoyed together when he was face to face when he first brought the Gospel to them. Now he confronts them about con artists who are cunningly trying to get them to reject their friendship with Paul, turn away from his teaching, and exclusively follow them.

“These people are zealous to win you over, but it’s not for good. They’re wanting to isolate you from true friendships and teachers and have you exclusively for themselves. Now being zealous for relationships is a fine thing, as long as the purpose is good. It’s also true that the passion for closeness needs to be maintained and not just a closeness when I’m with you. My dear children, for whom I’m always in the pains of childbirth until Christ, the Messiah, is formed in you, I wish so much that I could be physically with you right now, and that I could change my tone. But I’m at a loss that you are allowing yourselves to be seduced by these false teachers with their phony claims to want to be close to you.”  Galatians 4:17-20

False friends are all chummy and nice when they need your gifts and abilities for their own purposes. As soon as they no longer need you, they leave you isolated and alone. One of the most powerful ways to discern whether or not you are following a false teacher is to ask, “Are they telling us to turn away from trusted friends and teachers we’ve known for years? Are they using power and the promise of success to win our dedication or are they tender, like a mother about to have a child? Can we honestly say their most intense purpose is to have the Spirit of Jesus formed in our lives? True friends, like Dave Lowery, are gracious gifts from our Heavenly Daddy, but false friends are con artists from the father of lies. 

For more from Dave Wyrtzen please visit TruthEncounter.com!