I love my friends. I love hanging with them, spending time, chatting, just having fun. But something always comes up at some point- whether they believe in God or not. Faith in God can either drive your unbelieving friends away, or bring them even closer to you. I don't know about you, but I have found it a little difficult in being friends with someone who doesn't believe in God. I want them to become Christians, but I don't want to drive them away either.
Here are three things that God has taught me about loving our friends who don't know God.
1. Pray for them.
Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ. That is why I am here in chains. Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should. - Colossians 4:2-4
The best way you can love your unchristian friends is to pray for them. Pray that God will reveal Himself to them, pray that you might have opportunities to talk about God with them, and pray for all their needs. Maybe they need help in a test, maybe there having family problems... pray for them, and believe God will work wonders.
2. Live wisely.
Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. . - Colossians 5:6
Whenever I do or say something wrong around some of my friends, they are quick to jump on my faith. 'Oh, the Christian said that' they will say. Whenever it happens I realize how much they pay attention to how we live. Our actions speak volumes. But sometimes we talk like a Christian, I believe this, I believe that, but our actions do the complete opposite! We say, but we don't do. Our actions and speech don't line up.
People are watching, whether we know it or not. We need to make sure we are living out what we say we believe. We need to watch what we say and do around unbelievers, because how can they trust what we say, if we don't also do the things we say?
3. Love- don't judge!
It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you." - 1 Corinthians 4:12-13
This one of the most important things, and one thing that we have to remember. Love them, dont judge them! God is the Judge of heaven and earth, its not our place to tell them if they are doing something wrong, that's Gods place.
We are told in the Bible that if we see another believer sinning that after praying about it, we should humbly bring it to their attention so that they can turn from their ways.
Its easy to say, 'you shouldn't do that', 'you know that's wrong' and other things like that. We need to respect other peoples viewpoints. God convicts. God shows people when they mess up, not us. We are there to love them, to pray for them and to help them!
Make a point of praying for your unsaved friends, live out your beliefs, and respect your friends beliefs. Be a real friend, and love- don't judge.