Girl to Girl Talk: How to Deal with Friends Who Don’t Understand Your Faith
Written by Christi Given | April 8, 2013
Every week, I go through the “Girl Talk” section of Project Inspired and look for those seeking advice and council. I want to help answer some questions you may have about living out your Christian life and walk of faith! We want PI to be a safe place where you can ask questions.
Q: A lot of my friends are atheists, and keep offending me with hurtful things they say about my religion. I try to preach the word of God to them, but they just keep doing it. I really don’t know how to handle a situation like this. Help!
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First, I am so sorry that your FRIENDS are doing this to you. Hurtful statements can be destructive, even if your friends don’t mean to offend you. Here are my five tips for sharing your faith and dealing with those who don’t understand it:
We need to love those around us, regardless of their beliefs. We need to give them grace, show compassion and not bang them over the head with our beliefs. Let THEM ask the questions. People should see your light and ask you why you are so different. They can see how you live, what you do, what you believe and ultimately, your life of worship. Remember what the Bible says, “Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:8). Of course, we can witness when the Holy Spirit leads, but never pressure someone into trying to understand your faith if they don’t want to hear about it.
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another (John 13:35).
Ask God to show you when it is a good time to share your faith, when it is appropriate and with whom you should share it. God tells us when we ask for WISDOM, He will give it generously (James 1:5). We know that some people will resist the truth and the Gospel, and we need to understand God’s sovereignty. He knows our hearts and also knows the hearts of man. We need to ask the Holy Spirit to guide us, and also we need to PRAY for the person we are witnessing to. Make sure you pray before you speak and give it to the Lord first.
3. Speak with gentleness and kindness:
Even if someone attacks you and your faith, remember that when Jesus Christ was crucified, He was mocked, ridiculed, spat at and hated by some men on the earth. They laughed at Him and even tested the Lord by asking Him to get Himself off of the cross. When you speak, remember to speak with love, kindness, gentleness and compassion. Remember, no one is perfect, and it is a blessing that we even know the truth. Let us show our friends, families and also those to whom we witness the love of God, just like God showed us.
A gentle answer turns away wrath,but a harsh word stirs up anger (Proverbs 15:1).
But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious (1 Peter 3:4).
4. Use wisdom in choosing your friends:
If you have “friends” who are hurting you, belittling your faith or who seem to be against you, they may not be your true friends. Obviously, it takes two to have a friendship, and I don’t know both sides of the story. But we need to pray and ask God about who He wants us to spend our time with. We can be a light to people, but it doesn’t mean you have to be with those people constantly. If they are being mean and disrespecting you, maybe you should meet some new friends. Obviously, you can do this slowly and with love, but make some observations and priorities in your life. God will order your steps.
Psalms 1:1-3 says,
Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.
5. Have a mature conversation about your feelings:
Don’t ignore the issue in the relationship. You don’t need to talk about your faith unless you feel led to, but you need to address how your friends hurt your feelings. If they don’t want to learn or hear about your beliefs, consider not bringing it up unless they ask, and in return ask that they keep harmful comments to themselves.
PI girls, have you ever been in this situation before? How did you handle it? Comment below if you have any more comments, concerns or additional questions you’d like to ask about!
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