Friends agree with each other. Amos 3:3 (NLT) reads, “Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction?” Friendship depends on shared values, behaviors, and goals. So, which values and behaviors does the Bible point to as indicating friendship with the world?

1 John 2:16 (NLT), “For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.” Thus, the Bible defines these desires as friendship with the world. 

When we act from these cravings, we are in trouble. But we also need to recognize that not all pleasures are sinful. For example: the enjoyment of a good meal gives physical pleasure, but God created food to taste and smell good. God has blessed us with five senses to enjoy His wonderful creation! 

There is also a difference between healthy pleasures and unhealthy desires. The Apostle Paul gives us a partial list of degenerate cravings in 2 Timothy 3:2-5 (NKJB), “men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.” It’s easy to see how people today are embracing these evil concepts as good. When we agree with these behaviors, we are friends with the world.

Should Christians vote? Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world…” John 18:36. “…our citizenship is in heaven…” Philemon 3:20. “…we are ambassadors for Christ…” 2 Corinthians 5:20. Ambassadors living in foreign lands do not participate in a foreign country’s government.

Should Christians observe unscriptural holidays? It depends. A holiday is not necessarily a holy day. Holidays are simply the remembrance of happy events. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always…in everything give thanks…” Is there something in the holiday for which you can thank God? Then, in those aspects, you may join in the celebration. A Christian may say, “Jesus wasn’t born on Christmas, but I can join you in celebrating our Savior’s birth on any day. Truly, the birth of Jesus was a great and blessed gift from God.” 

However, if you can’t celebrate “…to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31),”  then it would be wiser to abstain graciously from the festivities. Romans 12:18, “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.”