Maintaining relationships and friendships with people of all faiths is something we want to do as Christ-followers, but we must stand firm in our faith. We can be a light to many, and point people to the truth, but whom should you run with in life? Are we called to be around believers and unbelievers? Should you have non-believers as your closest friends? Does it matter what faith your friends are?
In the Word of God, we are advised to be careful to not walk with the ungodly, to sit or stand with mockers, and we learn that light cannot dwell in the darkness (Psalm 1:1-3). We can have some non-believing friends, but we need to use wisdom with how often we are around them, knowing we can plant seeds, but we need to be cautious to not get sucked into the darkness.
The Bible tells us that bad company corrupts good character, and it is a well-known fact that those you are around are those you will become like (1 Corinthians 15:33). There is another saying, “guilty by association,” so make sure you choose your friends wisely.
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. (Psalm 1:1-3)
The truth is, what you believe affects your actions. If you are hanging with people who party a lot, chances are you will party; if you hang with those seeking the Lord, chances are you will grow in Christ. Relationships are a choice, and we must decide to partake in specific activities and/or join in with walking in different people’s directions or paths. Let us ask ourselves if our relationships are bearing fruit, and if they’re not, then we need to cut off any bad branches (John 15).
We also need to make the effort to really pour into those who are receptive to the gospel and who want to repent and give their lives to the Lord. No, people don’t change overnight, but you might be the only Bible that some people read, and you can influence someone’s life and could even help affect where they end up for eternity. If you have people in your circle who want to come to youth group and learn more about Jesus, you can help include them in your fellowship groups. Another idea is to invite your non-believing friends to on-campus Christian clubs at school or to youth camps.
We are praying for you here at Project Inspired for blessed and fruitful relationships, and also praying that you are able to mentor and pour into others who are willing to learn and who are thirsty for the truth. It is smart to stay away from those who pull you down, mock you for your faith or are a bad influence on you.
I encourage you all to really pray about your friendships and ask God to help bring strong Christian girlfriends into your life who can be there to pray and to talk. Even if you have one quality friend, that is important. Also, it’s good to remember to gently encourage others who are not believers in the faith. Don’t be too pushy or preachy, and ask God to give you the words to say when you invite them to church. We are praying for you, PI Girls!
10 Scriptures on How to Deal With Non-Believing Friends
1. 2 Corinthians 6:14: “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?”
2. Amos 3:3: “Do two walk together, unless they have agreed to meet?”
3. Ephesians 5:5-7: “For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.”
4. 2 Corinthians 6:17: “Therefore, ‘Come out from them and be separate,’ says the Lord. ‘Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.’”
5. John 1:5: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
6. Matthew 5:13: “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.”
7. Mark 9:24: “Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, ‘I do believe; help my unbelief.'”
8. Matthew 5:14-16: “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
9. Matthew 17:20: “And He said to them, ‘Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, Move from here to there, and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.'”
10. 1 John 5:10: “The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning His Son.”
PI Girls, do you have at least one strong believer in your life? How can we pray for you and your friends?