Your thoughts on friendships with non-Christians?

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Oct 2, 2019
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#21
In my life, I have found my secular friends to be one of my greatest blessings. I went to a very Christian high school so when I started going to a (notoriously) secular public university, I was very scared about making friends. I was afraid that many nonbelievers would only care about partying and hooking up. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this is not the case. While many of my friends are secular, they are wonderful people. I find myself wanting to be an example of Christ's love to them. Having secular friends makes me all the more passionate about praying for those who do not believe. I have friends who are queer, pagan, Muslim, promiscuous, atheist, etc. When I pray for those people, I'm not looking down on them as non-Christians. That's not the point. I find the more I spend time with these people, the more I fall in love with them as people. I want them to be saved not just because they are not Christian, but also because they are my dear friends whom I love very much.

Of course, I think it is important that you have fellowship with believers as well. Like you said, it can be very easy to give in to secular ways when you are surrounded by secular people. Just make sure you have some Christian friends you can confide in and everything should be fine.
I agree with you. My three non-Christian friends I referenced in the OP, are people who I cared about very much for themselves as their individual persons. (Oftentimes, that also made it all the more agonizing that I couldn't seem to have any positive influence to open them to Christ. You care about these people, so you don't want to lose them in eternity ahead.)

It's also good to be wary of when they might be taking a different path away from you. Our enemy doesn't want us to influence them to come to Christ, and will do what he can to lead them away from Him. For example, one of the friends I spoke of in my OP turned malicious towards me, very out of character for the person I once knew her to be. The Holy Spirit spoke loudly into my mind one afternoon around the time this happened, warning me that she was surrounded in darkness, and that I needed to keep my distance from her while He continued to work in her through other means.

Always keep a discerning eye for the paths they may be taking while they are still in your life. Always try to be as kind as you can be, show your caring for them as you can also, even if they are not making that same effort. Part of the mistake I made with the friend I mentioned is that I became overcritical of her in some arguments we had. And I let myself think that my on-going frustration was enough to justify my chastisement of her.

But I only made things worse. If you ever have issues with them that you must absolutely talk to them about, be as gentle and gracious as possible about it, let them know you care about their perspective. Don't try to "put them in their place" as I mistakenly did, even if they seem to "deserve" it. Remember our Lord's patience, and always keep Him present with you at all times, especially with unbelieving friends. These are the things I wish I had done differently now.
 
Oct 2, 2019
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#22
(Continued in another post, since my edit time ran out in the previous one)

Always remember what you are saying and doing in your interactions with them for the long term. Whatever the argument may be, or whatever failing they may have had, remember the person they are, and keep loving them unconditionally and keep forgiving them. Don't underestimate their sensitivity either, even if they hide it well. It's not worth it to lose them forever.
 

TheIndianGirl

Well-known member
Nov 22, 2019
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#23
One of my best friends whom I've know for 15 years is a nonbeliever. She used to be plain agnostic but now she has moved a bit more into astrology and new age. Meanwhile, in the past seven or so years I have been active in church. I guess I have grown in my faith but I still have a lot of questions and things I don't understand. She has tried to get me involved with astrology a few times but I had to be firm, and now calls me closed minded and a super-Christian. She considers what she does as not religious and that anyone can benefit. I actually do not consider myself a super conservative Christian. It is a bit difficult handling this friendship, but I love her and will continue to treat her as a close friend. Any tips on how to handle this type of friendship where we butt heads all the time?
 
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EliBeth

Guest
#24
I agree with you. My three non-Christian friends I referenced in the OP, are people who I cared about very much for themselves as their individual persons. (Oftentimes, that also made it all the more agonizing that I couldn't seem to have any positive influence to open them to Christ. You care about these people, so you don't want to lose them in eternity ahead.)

It's also good to be wary of when they might be taking a different path away from you. Our enemy doesn't want us to influence them to come to Christ, and will do what he can to lead them away from Him. For example, one of the friends I spoke of in my OP turned malicious towards me, very out of character for the person I once knew her to be. The Holy Spirit spoke loudly into my mind one afternoon around the time this happened, warning me that she was surrounded in darkness, and that I needed to keep my distance from her while He continued to work in her through other means.

Always keep a discerning eye for the paths they may be taking while they are still in your life. Always try to be as kind as you can be, show your caring for them as you can also, even if they are not making that same effort. Part of the mistake I made with the friend I mentioned is that I became overcritical of her in some arguments we had. And I let myself think that my on-going frustration was enough to justify my chastisement of her.

But I only made things worse. If you ever have issues with them that you must absolutely talk to them about, be as gentle and gracious as possible about it, let them know you care about their perspective. Don't try to "put them in their place" as I mistakenly did, even if they seem to "deserve" it. Remember our Lord's patience, and always keep Him present with you at all times, especially with unbelieving friends. These are the things I wish I had done differently now.
(Continued in another post, since my edit time ran out in the previous one)

Always remember what you are saying and doing in your interactions with them for the long term. Whatever the argument may be, or whatever failing they may have had, remember the person they are, and keep loving them unconditionally and keep forgiving them. Don't underestimate their sensitivity either, even if they hide it well. It's not worth it to lose them forever.
These were incredibly helpful and timely for me. There is much wisdom in these posts. ☑️
 
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EliBeth

Guest
#25
One of my best friends whom I've know for 15 years is a nonbeliever. She used to be plain agnostic but now she has moved a bit more into astrology and new age. Meanwhile, in the past seven or so years I have been active in church. I guess I have grown in my faith but I still have a lot of questions and things I don't understand. She has tried to get me involved with astrology a few times but I had to be firm, and now calls me closed minded and a super-Christian. She considers what she does as not religious and that anyone can benefit. I actually do not consider myself a super conservative Christian. It is a bit difficult handling this friendship, but I love her and will continue to treat her as a close friend. Any tips on how to handle this type of friendship where we butt heads all the time?
I just want to affirm your stand on rejecting the astrology temptation/test. Well done. I do not mean that in a spiteful way to your friend, no no. I only mean it is good for us to remain loyal to Almighty God and His instructions for us, as His children, even if it means offending, disappointing, or hurting another human being. (Though we should be careful not to offend, disappoint, or hurt unnecessarily.) He must come first and your response to her suggestion seems to prove where your loyalty lies. I only encourage you humbly, please do not slip in this commitment, dear Sister. Hold fast!

I, too, have one I love who is a non-believer in darkness- my closest cousin. I am seeking God's will in how to navigate this. To be honest, in my situation I believe (much like the warning No_Name_To_Change received from the Holy Spirit in his above post) God has led me to shed His light to her from a distance. I am not saying this is the course you should take. I am merely sharing what I believe Gad has led me to do in my own circumstance. I pray He leads you too, TheIndianGirl. 🙂
 
Dec 28, 2019
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#26
I've honestly been thinking a whole lot about my friendships with people who are close to me, but also not Christian. I have been praying for them for years, and nothing much has changed. My friends are also (mostly) online, and they are the ones who helped me in my grieving process when my best friend (who was the only believer I kept in contact with over the years) passed away last October. I haven't had very much fellowship with believers in the more recent past, but I miss it. I know that being within the midst of believers and seeking God is where I truly belong, and I miss it.
 

Deuteronomy

Well-known member
Jun 11, 2018
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#27
I haven't had very much fellowship with believers in the more recent past, but I miss it. I know that being within the midst of believers and seeking God is where I truly belong, and I miss it.
Hello Cloudsescape, first off, I see that you are still pretty new around here, so welcome to CChat :)

As far as fellowship with other believers goes/being in their midst and seeking God, is going to church not a possibility for you right now? I had trouble getting to Sunday morning services at one point, but continuing to be part of a weekly Bible study helped keep me connected to and stay in the midst of other believers :)

God bless you!

~Deut

1 Thessalonians 5
23 May the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body
be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.
 
Dec 28, 2019
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#28
Hello Cloudsescape, first off, I see that you are still pretty new around here, so welcome to CChat :)

As far as fellowship with other believers goes/being in their midst and seeking God, is going to church not a possibility for you right now? I had trouble getting to Sunday morning services at one point, but continuing to be part of a weekly Bible study helped keep me connected to and stay in the midst of other believers :)

God bless you!

~Deut

1 Thessalonians 5
23 May the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body
be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.
Thank you for the welcome!!
My father is a Pastor, and we have a home church as of right now. I don't get to fellowship with many people outside of our small congregation. We used to belong to a very good church, but then we moved and my dad knew the Lord was calling him to pastor his own church.
 
Dec 23, 2019
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#29
I think it’s possible, but depends on the person. Some nonbelievers are actually relatively moral and can have a lot in common with believers despite not believing in God. Others would want to drag us into sin, so we shouldn’t be equally yoked with those. A good friend will respect what you believe, even if they disagree. Do unto others what you wish they would do to you. Pray for all and love them as Jesus would, but use discernment. For those that are open to it, be a light and gently share as God gives you the opportunities. We plant the seeds, but God waters them and makes them grow (see 1 Corinthians 3:6-9). God might have had you plant some seeds, but you won’t be the one to see them grow yet as He leads them elsewhere.

For others that don’t receive our seeds, shake off the dust from your sandals. I’ve had friendships with believers and nonbelievers. Some friendships were great. I’m mostly thinking of the ones I had in childhood before the world’s corruptive influences enter. Others I did initially have idealistic expectations only to have to reflect on and make choices when I realized that they probably had more influence on me than I had on them. “Do not be deceived, ‘bad company corrupts good morals’” (1 Corinthians 15:33). It might be so slight we don’t even notice at first. That doesn’t necessarily mean to cut people out (though it might if they for example become hostile like the one person in your case), just that you wouldn’t participate in certain events or do certain things. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Some may be temptations and God testing us to see if we truly love Him above everything.

Not a simple answer. It depends. But pray to always do His will and He will direct our steps. He may have called us to be a witness for a time, but then it becomes somebody else’s turn and all we can do is pray. Good luck <3