Goodness and purity should never attract attention to themselves; they should be magnets that draw attention to Jesus Christ. If my holiness isn’t drawing people to him, it isn’t holiness of the right order; it’s an influence that will spark misplaced affection and lead souls astray. A talented and virtuous preacher may be an obstacle if, instead of preaching Jesus Christ, he preaches only what Jesus Christ has done for him. People will come away saying, “That preacher has a fine character!” when they should be coming away with Jesus himself. If my face is growing brighter while Jesus’s fades, I’m not being a true friend of the bridegroom (John 3:30).

In order to maintain a loyal friendship with Jesus, we have to be careful with our moral and vital relationship to him—more careful than we are with anything else, even our obedience to God. Sometimes, the only thing we need to do is maintain this vital connection. Occasionally, when we are faced with a crisis, we have to seek knowledge of God’s will so that we can act in obedience. But most of life doesn’t require this kind of conscious obedience; it requires the maintenance of this relationship, our friendship with the bridegroom.

Beware of allowing anything to come between you and Jesus Christ. Too often, Christian work provides the perfect excuse for breaking our soul’s concentration on him. Instead of being friends of the bridegroom, we may end up working against him.

Wisdom from Oswald

There is nothing, naturally speaking, that makes us lose heart quicker than decay—the decay of bodily beauty, of natural life, of friendship, of associations, all these things make a man lose heart; but Paul says when we are trusting in Jesus Christ these things do not find us discouraged, light comes through them.
The Place of Help