Friday, January 9, 2015

Friendships with Non Christians

There are many Scriptures which refer to how to be a friend and Gods expectations for us in our friendships. Lucky for us there are also very clear instructions on what not to do and most of these things can lead to tumultuous friendships at best.  Let’s examine some of these scriptures and see how they apply to our friendships with non-Christian friends, and what possibilities we have before us to make an impact on those friends.

Proverbs 16:28
“A troublemaker plants seeds of strife, Gossip Separates the best of friends”

When caught up in conversations and girl talk, gossip can creep in very quickly and without warning. Sometimes the difference between girl talk and gossip is – well there is none.

Question: How to tell the difference?

Proverbs 22:24-25

“Don’t befriend angry people or associate with hot-tempered people, or you will learn to be like them and endanger your soul.”

On occasion we have a friend who embarrasses us with a public outburst or a flash of anger we have never seen before. It is normal for us girls to have “moments” on occasion. However, when those “moments” become the norm, how are we handling them? Do we jump on the bandwagon and become a mean girl, or a bully? Do we participate in these behaviors because it is our friend? God clearly gives us a consequence for this.

Question: Where do we draw the line?

James 4:4

You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again; if you want to be a friend of the world you make yourself an enemy of God”

Knowing that some of our friends are not walking with Christ is the reality of the Christian woman. As a Christian woman, we take the responsibility on of being a good example, a good mentor-whether our non-Christian girlfriends see it or not. The part of us to examine is when is too much – too much? Where si the line between ministering to another woman and getting sucked into her world? Is it a conversation? A drink? A flirt with a waiter? 

Question: Where do you draw the line?

Psalm 1:1
"Oh the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners or join in with the mockers."

In this verse, all I see is- “where do I get my counsel?”
It is important to council with Christian mentors. Having a core group of women with whom to confide is a great asset that God has provided me with. However-for the deep spiritual accountability and encouragement I only counsel with two women. When finding a mentor it is best for her to be older and wiser n her walk with Christ, not her age.
(annual festival party story)

Matthew 5:23-24

“So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person, then come and offer your sacrifice to God.”

In any relationship it is important to have reconciliation in conflict. One important thing to remember is not everyone deals with it in the same way. Christian and non-Christian women alike have different excuses, reasons and issues dealing with reconciliation. Some of us cannot issue forgiveness because bitter memories prevent us from forgiving. Some of us forgive quickly and move on, not spending time re-hashing situations and circumstances.  Some of these women know Jesus, but some do not.  Two important factors weigh in:
                                Sometimes asking for reconciliation is powerful for you both
                                Sometimes it isn’t, and you just have to forgive yourself because 
no one else will.

Being friends with non- Christian women is possible, and important. It can be tricky – you have to be sure to have on the full armor of God, with a little extra protection for your heart.  It can be such a blessing to lead another woman to Christ- it can also be exhausting trying. While we set the example, we must also learn from the scripture how to be cautious in these relationships and learn when it is time to turn a friendship into a seasonal one, and let someone else minister to a friend who just isn’t ready.

Praying for our non- Christian friends.

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