What should I do if my parents or my friends don’t believe in God?
This is a tough question. As a Christian, you know how AWESOME God’s love is and you want your family and friends to experience it the same way you do. It can be heartbreaking when those you care about turn their backs on Him. From experience, I can tell you that only God Himself can soften the hearts of your loved ones. All you can do is continue to share His love with your family and friends, and be an intercessor in prayer for them. Here are some tips to help you along the way:
- Remember that anyone can be redeemed. One of the great things about Jesus is that no matter what we do, God will forgive us if we repent. This means that your family and friends, if they repent, can achieve salvation. Never give up on people who seem to be so far outside of God’s will. Continue to pray for them, encourage them and speak life into their situations.
- There’s POWER in prayer. Prayer is very powerful. Jesus Himself is at the right hand of the Father, interceding on our behalf. Isn’t that amazing? As we pray, Jesus is also praying on our behalf. So never underestimate the power of prayer! Even when it looks like nothing is happening, be encouraged knowing something definitely is happening in the spiritual realm. Keep praying for your family and friends with the knowledge that at some point, there will be a shifting in their lives.
- Show love no matter what! Sometimes people who don’t know Christ yet can be a little frustrating to be around. Keep in mind that loving others is a command from God. Although it may seem hard to be kind to people who are mean to you, who do things that are downright silly, or who deny the very God you love so much, always remember that you are light. God uses YOU to help Him demonstrate His love to other people. It’s easy to fully love other Christians who are kind to you, but you have to love non-Christians too. God may be trying to work in their lives through you!
- Be an example. People see what you do more than they hear what you say. Preaching at people may just run them further away from God. Instead, show them how great it is to serve our magnificent Lord. When they see you living a Godly lifestyle and watch how God blesses you, they’ll also want to know the God you serve.
- Use your words carefully. Sometimes it’s easy to criticize others for not living a Godly lifestyle. Although it’s important to hold people accountable when necessary, we should also remember to speak life into others. Use your words to encourage and edify more often than you use them to criticize. Stay humble and nonjudgmental. We were all lost at one point in our lives and we all mess up sometimes. Keep this in mind when you interact with others. Your goal is to win them to Christ, and offending them often defeats that purpose.
An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city. Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars (Proverbs: 18:19 NLT).
- Keep your faith and peace. God is faithful and He’ll answer your prayers. Remind yourself of this when things seem particularly tough in your relationships with family and friends. When you cling to this knowledge, you can experience peace regardless of what it looks like now.
Have you ever been in this situation before? Do you have any other tips or suggestions?
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