I’m a Hostile

I have come to a conclusion. I am a hostile. You wouldn’t think it by meeting me. I’m your average person. I like to think of myself as warm and friendly and in a crowd full of people I don’t appear to be any different than you.  But you see I think that is the problem.  Let me show you why.

The book of James speaks to this hostility that I see stirring up within me.  James 4:4 says…

“You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”

James is speaking here to Christians who have been spread abroad due to the persecution of the early church.  So as we look at this verse we need to remember who James is speaking to. There are two words that stand out to me that I want us to break down: friendship and hostility.  Let’s do a word study on these two words. (BTW- word studies are one of my favorite study tools. There is so much we can miss in Scripture when we place our own connotations on words.  Greek is a very rich language, so don’t miss out by not stopping and searching out what the words in a passage are saying.)  To do my Word Studies I am going to be using Strong’s Concordance and The Complete Word Study Dictionary of the New Testament.

Friendship: Strong’s number 5373à to befriend, love, kiss. In James 4:4, phila involves the adopting of the interests of the world to be one’s own

Hostility:  Strong number 2189 à enemy, enmity, hatred

So let’s take these Greek definitions back to the text.  To be a friend with the world is to adopt the interests of the world as my own. It means I have fully taken the ways of the world as my ways. I think just like the world thinks, I look just like the world looks, I speak just like the world speaks, I act just like the world acts. I am just like the world, so much that I don’t appear to be any different.

And what is the result of me being a friend with the world? I am an enemy of or hate God.  I am a hostile.

As I lay myself down and compare me (my thoughts, heart, actions) with Scripture, I’m pretty embarrassed because I realize I’m a hostile. When I really stop and look at the attitude of my heart I realize that I am often more consumed with the ways of the world than the ways of God. I often find myself more consumed with planning my wedding, errands I need to run, TV shows I like to watch, and Facebook than I am consumed with God and the things of God. So often I allow the world to dominate who I think I should be.  Please don’t miss me here; I’m not talking about just what we do. I’m talking about the change that happens when I am a friend of God rather than the world. When I am a friend of God it means I have adopted His interests as my own as the Gospel transforms my life.  When my heart is devoted to and focused on God, His Word transforms my heart, mind, and actions.  When I am a friend of God I look radically different than the world because of the transformation that has happened in my heart.  That heart transformation then pours out into the way I live my life. So where does that leave a hostile like me?

Well let’s look a little further into chapter 4 of James:

“Submit therefore to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts you double minded.”
James 4:7-8

So where does a hostile like me go? Back to Jesus. I repent and turn from my sin and draw near to God and allow Him to transform me so I look like Him and not like the world.

As I have been meditating on this passage and applying it to my life I’m honestly ashamed at how much I come out on the side of a hostile to God rather than His friend.  But I have to ask, what about you? Honestly lay yourself down next to James 4:4 and think about what side you are really on. What side does your friendship lie on? Are you a friend of this world allowing it to dominate who you are or are you a friend of God allowing His Word to transform you into His likeness? Look at how you spend your time each day.  What are you doing, thinking, speaking? Are you more concerned with dressing a certain way, playing a sport, excelling in school, playing video games with your friends than you are the things of God? Do you allow things to get in the way of spending time with God, His Word, and His people? Who are you really a friend of?


Ashlee is a native New Mexican living as a missionary in Texas. She is a small group leader in the youth group of her church and has been involved with Transform Student Ministries for 13 years. She knows she brings nothing to the table with her relationship with God and any ministry He allows her to be a part of.  She is a hostile enveloped in the grace of God.

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