A4P Guest: I’m a 26 year old girl. I used to live in Texas but a year ago, I moved to the DMV area so I can be close to my families. As a follower of Jesus Christ, I believe that I need to lead a “set-apart” (holy) life for the glory of Jesus Christ, by walking according to His Word and to eventually draw others to His light. As a body of Christ, we are called to live holy as Jesus lived which means set apart, not conforming to the patterns of this world. After I came to the DMV area, I have made new Ethiopian friends who go to church, sing worship songs to God, raise their hands, cry unto God, etc. However, when I hang out with them outside of Church, I have noticed that my new Christian friends are still worldly. They don’t seem to be living a kind of life that honors God. They drink, party, date as worldly people do, listen and dance to secular music and the way they talk is totally worldly. So, my question for you is this: What are the ways I can help my newly found friends? Am I to confront them openly and point out the wrong they are doing? Or just keep quiet and let them see how I strive to live?”
A4P: First, welcome to the very interesting to look at DMV area.
Second, your message sounds like you had good Christian friends back in Texas who had challenged and encouraged you to be the person God called you to be. If so, make sure you keep in touch with them as often as you can until you find good friends here.
Third, the word of God commands us never to be “yoked” with unbelievers, not only in the area of marriage but also in major life undertakings such as business and whatnot (2 Corinthians 6:14-18).
And, the word of God is very clear as to what we need to do with those who profess to follow Christ but live as the enemies of the cross of Christ. Listen what Scriptures say:
“But now I am writing to you that you must NOT associate with ANYONE who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.” (1 Corinthians 5:11, Capitalization is mine)
“In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, to KEEP AWAY from every believer who is idle and disruptive and DOES NOT LIVE according to the teaching you received from us.” (2 Thessalonians 3:6 Capitalization is mine)
So, the word of God here is crystal clear. We don’t need to discuss about it any further. In light of the above words of God and from what you wrote me, I believe that you need to depart from your newly found friends. It doesn’t mean that though you need to ignore them or anything but stop spending too much of your time with them.
As to confronting them, well, I see it this way: I personally prefer to be confronted by people I love, people who have been my friends for many years (at least for two or three years and more). We, in the first place, became friends because we are like-minded people and we know each other very well. So, when I stray from the truth of God my friends and I both hold dearly, I expect them to say something; I expect them to confront me to put me back on the right track.
From your message, I sensed that you are still in the process of knowing these people and I don’t think you are able to call them your friends. I mean, there is nothing wrong with calling them your friends but when it comes to confronting them about their lifestyle, I don’t think you are there yet. You just came to know them and now you are not sure whether to be their friend or not.
And continuing with them won’t be a wise thing for you to do. Let me ask you one simple question: If you put together in one bag one rotten tomato with four freshly cut tomatoes, and if you come after four days, what do you think you find in that bag?
So, continuing to hang out with them may not make them better Christians but there is a high chance that it may influence your walk with Christ in ways you may not like it.
“Bad company corrupts good character.” (1 Corinthians 15:33b)
Finally, let me say this before I let you go: Sometimes when we get Finally, let me say this before I let you go: Sometimes when we get too focused on how others do life, we commit a terrible sin called pride because we tend to think that our Christian walk is better than others (Matthew 7:3-5). If you are to compare your walk, compare it with Christ’s. Be very careful! Guard your heart so pride won’t “rotten” your beautiful passion to live for Christ. Always focus on fixing your own life, not others’. Otherwise you find yourself being a commander-in-chief of hypocrisy. If God is able to make you this kind of person, He can do the same with these people you met in the DMV area. If they belong to God, God is faithful to mold and make them to be the person He created them to be. As you rest in Him for your Christianity, rest in Him for their Christianity. But this doesn’t mean that you need to continue hanging out with them. I believe it wise for you to look for other friends. Believe me in this: There are many excellent young Christian people in the DMV area. You just have to prayerfully look for them, which is what you are doing now. Don’t rush though. My prayers are with you. ///