My best friends have started to make choices that I am not comfortable with. How do I go about loving them and standing up for what I believe in without coming off as judging them or thinking I am “better” than them?
answered by: heather cofer | CO, USA
One of the best things to remember is that the most loving thing you can do for your friends is point them back to Jesus by how you live and what you say. You don’t have to choose between loving them and sharing the truth — loving them is sharing the truth. As you alluded to, the difficulty is often knowing how and when to do it. In some situations, it may be choosing not to participate in something they are doing, and in other situations, it may be addressing a specific sin you see in their lives with Scripture in a gentle, humble way. It is not up to you to convince them of truth, but simply to be the one who presents it, trusting God with the results. Ask Him for wisdom for each specific circumstance, and He will give it as you walk in obedience to Him.
One of my favorite verses regarding this is Hebrews 3:13 which says, “But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (ESV). By humbly sharing truth with your friends, you are participating in keeping them from becoming hardened by sin. Even if it is awkward or uncomfortable, you can be sure that the Lord will bless your willingness to lovingly point others to Him.
answered by: Kaila L | CO, USA
Light and darkness will always be in direct contrast to one another. Knowing this, Scripture has laid out some beautiful truths that we can walk in when we’re desiring to heed the leading of God’s Spirit.
Let it be your unwavering desire to walk uprightly before the Lord. There may be invitations you decline, or discussions you redirect toward honorable conversation. It’s important to realize you can do this with kindness and humility, demonstrating that while honoring God is the catalyst of your actions (see 1 John 2:3-5), the spiritual health of your friends is also a chief desire.
Spend time in prayer so that your interactions with these friends are marked by a deep love and desire for God to gain their undivided affections. (See 1 John 4:7-11.)
Have an answer for the hope that lies within you. There may come a time when these friends ask why you’re living this way, so be ready to joyfully answer! (To go deeper, I’d encourage you to look at the book of 1 John — and Scripture as a whole — to utilize God’s Word to testify of His beautiful work in your life. Share God’s desire to accomplish this in each of their hearts as well.)
No matter the outcome, as you walk in obedience to Jesus, you can expect that there will be challenging circumstances that arise. In the midst of difficulty we can rejoice because we know that God is working all things for the good of those who love Him, and more importantly, for His glory.