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Christian Life

Girl to Girl Talk: How to Deal with Friends Who Don’t Understand Your Faith

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:

1.  Love:

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).

2.  Pray:

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!

More Stories Like This on Project Inspired:

Girl to Girl Talk: “Is It Okay to Question Your Beliefs?”
Girl to Girl Talk: Are Tattoos Sinful?
Girl to Girl Talk: “Should Christians Listen to Secular and Explicit Music?”

Image: Lifesize, iStockPhoto | ThinkStock

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11 Comments

  1. Project Inspired

    Posted by MissNatalie on April 19, 2014 at 10:17

    I attend a Catholic High school. Even there, I’m still thought of as that “weird Jesus girl” because I share my thoughts in theology class, sing with the liturgical choir at Mass, and occasionally go to the chapel during my open periods. Is this common in other religious high schools? In a school where we can express our faith openly, I don’t understand why more students don’t take advantage of this opportunity.

  2. pattyfullofchrist

    Posted by pattyfullofchrist on February 17, 2014 at 15:48

    My best friend used to go to church with me and we lost connection over the summer. She lost her faith in God and completely changed. We are still friends today but I choose not to spend as much time with her. I am afraid of her changing my belief. We have a agreement to not talk about anything because she ignores everything I say about God.

  3. AlexisDavinaMonroe

    Posted by AlexisDavinaMonroe on April 20, 2013 at 11:05

    Regardless of whom you are friends with, you should have friends that respect your morals, religion and values. Sure, no one has the same opinion on everything but you guys should be able to agree to disagree.

  4. redheadswag

    Posted by redheadswag on April 13, 2013 at 07:44

    I have a really good guy friend who’s like my brother, but he’s atheist. I have tried telling him to try to go to church and that it is better for him to become Christian but he won’t listen. He used to be a really strong Christian too, but something happened that made him not believe. This article helped a lot! 🙂

  5. zhane777

    Posted by zhane777 on April 10, 2013 at 21:22

    This article is so helpful!!! I get laughed at because some of my friends don’t believe the word of God when I speak about it . They follow the ”today’s trend” instead. Its really hard to explain. I learned that what ever you say, you can not change a person just go to the lord and pray for them to him. I feel sorry for my friends really. I pray that they welcome God in to their heart one day

  6. kwatts15

    Posted by kwatts15 on April 10, 2013 at 16:11

    A lot of my friends are Christians, but they sometimes don’t understand when I tell them about my ideas of being more strict on what I wear (to stay modest) and on what I have decided to do in my love life. I never really have had anyone tease me or make fun of my beliefs, but it does get a little hard when my friends don’t accept the choices I have made for me even though I never try to push it on them.

  7. Project Inspired

    Posted by daisy123 on April 9, 2013 at 14:46

    WELL I AM VERY SORRY THAT UR FRINEDS DID THAT IM GONNA GIVE U AN ADVICE ON WAT I WILL DO IS PRAY ABOUT IT AND TO HEAR HIM SAY IF THESE ARE THE PEOPLE U NEEN TO HANG OUT WITH OR NOT AS SOON AS HE HEARS UR PRAYER THEN JUST TELL THEM I DONT LIKE WHEN U GUYS MAKE FUN OF HOW I TRY TO TALK ABOUT MY FAITH AND I WAS PREACHING TO U GUYS THE WORD BUT I THINK ITS TIME FOR ME TO LET U GO

  8. IdaPahus

    Posted by IdaPahus on April 9, 2013 at 02:47

    I´m also in a situation like this! I sometimes find it hard not to share my faith with some of my nonchristian friends, because it means almost everything to me and I want them to experience the same joy as I have found through Jesus!

  9. Project Inspired

    Posted by musiclover88 on April 8, 2013 at 19:12

    I’m currently in a situation like this. A few of my friends are atheists. What I’ve done is pray for them. I also invite a couple of them to go to my youth group with me. I’ve gotten one of them to go a few times and last time she came, my youth pastor gave his testimony and at the end he did a prayer invitation and she raised her hand that she accepted Christ! Just don’t give up on them, no matter how hopeless they seem, because it’s God’s job to save them, not yours or theirs.

  10. jinglebells

    Posted by jinglebells on April 8, 2013 at 16:10

    Thank you so much for this! I have a similar situation at the present moment. Where one of my “Christian” friends is treating my other friends just horribly and I just didn’t know what to do with the situation but this helps considerably!!!