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HopePurifies
Member



Joined: 2007/4/12
Posts: 181
Georgia, USA

 Advice for situation with friend

I've really enjoyed reading the threads on these forums. There is a lot of wisdom here on sermon index. I'm hoping you can help me with this situation I have with a friend.
My friend and her family all profess to be Christians. We met in the cafeteria at my high school one day, and when we discovered that both of us like to talk about God we became friends.
At that point, I was much different than I have become now. Much of this was because of things I read on this very site. God has led me to be very discerning about ministries and activities that do not glorify Him. I care so much more about being holy to Him and loving Him, when previously I was just an apologetics debater with a mild interest in Christian living. It seems that because of this, tension has came into my relationship her and her family.
They like to do stuff that I don't feel I can glorify God and do, and so I think they are offended when I say I don't do them and the reasons I give for not doing them. They also feel that I am attacking ministries they love whenever I am not enthusiastically supportive or mention problems.
I've tried to ask them to be nice with me, I've tried to be gentle with what I say. Still, sometimes they are sarcastic and hurt my feelings, or tell me that I am awful for saying things, or even snap at me angrily. They accuse me of being selfish when I talk my spiritual needs and problems.
I'm grieved by this situation. On the one hand they are so nice and feed me and let me in their home and spend a lot of gas money to hang out with me. I really care about these people a lot and would hate to have to break fellowship over something so silly! But on the other hand they make me feel sad when they judge me for doing what I think is right before God.
What should I do if this doesn't stop? I'm having trouble finding out what would be the most Christ-like, God-pleasing thing to do....


_________________
Melanie

 2007/5/11 17:32Profile
crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: Advice for situation with friend

Hi sister

This may not apply directly but it came to mind;

[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=1523&forum=35#9501]Called Out[/url]

Look for "[i]Others May But you Cannot[/i]".


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Mike Balog

 2007/5/11 20:43Profile
HopePurifies
Member



Joined: 2007/4/12
Posts: 181
Georgia, USA

 Re:

Oh yes yes yes. I do love that writing.
The thing is, I don't really mind if she is never convicted about the things I am. The only thing I mind is that she and her family don't appreciate what I'm convicted over and say things that make me feel icky (a childish way to put it, perhaps, but it fits the best).
Should I care that they say these things? It seems at this point inevitable because I do desire them to see me as a sister if we are going to be brethren. If I should care, what should I do? Do I just stick around and hope they realize that I'm not horrible for what I believe? How often should I defend myself- if ever? Should I not fellowship with them as often?
I feel like everything I say is misinterpreted around them. I know I'm not the best communicator... but this situation is very saddening to me.


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Melanie

 2007/5/11 20:50Profile
tjservant
Member



Joined: 2006/8/25
Posts: 1658
Indiana USA

 Re:

Welcome to the path less traveled. You are not alone in your struggle to balance convictions and relationships. Many of us SI folks have and are currently going through the very things you are describing. Always remember, “Blessed are those that are persecuted.”

As we grow closer to Christ we often grow away from…how shall I say this…hmm…certain people? It’s not that they are not Christians it’s just that they are on such a different level we find it difficult to handle.

God will answer your prayers and provide you with the understanding necessary to endure this and much more.

I’m sure other SI folks will respond with much greater wisdom than I.

I will pray for you and this situation.


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TJ

 2007/5/11 21:07Profile
HopePurifies
Member



Joined: 2007/4/12
Posts: 181
Georgia, USA

 Re:

Thank you!
I feel abundantly encouraged just knowing that I'm not crazy and others sympathize.
And thank you soooooo much for praying! :-D


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Melanie

 2007/5/11 21:21Profile
rlh
Member



Joined: 2007/4/2
Posts: 30
oklahoma

 Re:

I agree with tjservant Welcome to the path less traveled or as our Savior called it "the narrow way". this is something you will deal with the rest of your life. Part of those persecutions Christ talked about. rejoice in them and He will give you strength. Also when it happens I use it for a reminder to pray for them.


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rick H.

 2007/5/11 22:15Profile
HopePurifies
Member



Joined: 2007/4/12
Posts: 181
Georgia, USA

 Re:

Oh, but it would be hard for me to think of it as persecution... it isn't pleasant, but I think they do like me!
I mean, I think they honestly think that I'm being "judgmental" and "legalistic". They aren't convicted on the areas I am, and that is the explanation they've come up with, and it makes sense to them.... I don't think they actually mean to hurt me, I think they even think they are helping me, but it hurts me because I don't like that they think that of me. And it does hinder us from edifying each other I think! They get angry because like I said, they truly believe that what God leads me to do is destructive and incorrect.
At this point the question would be "If they think I'm legalistic and judgmental- is there anything I could have said that would make them feel that way." I'll admit to you that some past things that I don't hold to now would. I think that is part of the problem, but we do not become completely holy in one day.... Then the second question of course is to examine whether I really am legalistic and judgmental. I've certainly been tempted to be legalistic and judgmental often, but God has gently shown me in these instances not to be.... Even so, in the statements I made, my conscience is completely clear before God. My convictions led to actions which led to wonderful wonderful peace and fruit in my life.
The more I think about this, the more I wonder if I should care so much that I have been wronged. I feel more sympathy my friends who can't seem to see the coolness of what God's doing in my life and think its bad!
Still, I would like for them to not say mean things, because when they do, it is because they are offended. It seems pretty bogus to me that a conviction would ever offend a brother or sister, but how do I deal with it when it happens?

I actually have another similar case that I'd also like to put here for discussion. Many here are convicted against watching television and movies. What do you do if you have a Christian friend who is going into the television or movie industry? How can you be supportive without going against your convictions? Feel free to answer my question using other examples....


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Melanie

 2007/5/11 22:38Profile
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7424
Mississippi

 Re:

Hope,

You want approval from your religious friends but they obviously are not on the same page as you. So the practical thing for you to do is consider: does my friendship with them draw me closer to God? if you persist in your friendship with them, where will you [likely] be in six months from now? Closer to God? or challenging Him and his Word like they do? Hope, it is your spiritual life at stake: anything, anybody that works to destroy that is dangerous to your walk with God. You have indicated you feel hurt, disappointed and this should serve as a red flag for you - and I think you already know that, do you not? or else you would not be asking the question? My suggestion to you is to continue to be kind, but ask the LORD to bring into your life some other friends that will be able to help you better. At this point you must consider them dangerous for your spiritual welfare because of your youth and [im]maturity.

Quote:
What do you do if you have a Christian friend who is going into the television or movie industry? How can you be supportive without going against your convictions?



You can't. Being godly means saying 'no' to whatever will draw you away from God. But it does mean you will communicate to them kindly,as the Holy Spirit leads, your reservations about this lifes' choices. You must also realize, you will likely not see many positive results of taking a position that is contrary to popular thought, but remember God tells us to cast our bread upon many waters and after many days it will return to you.(Eccl. 11:1) Think with me for a moment: what happens when you throw bread into a body of water? It disintegrates very quickly. This Scripture tells us it will return to you after many days: after it has gone to nothing, it will return! Hope, results belong to God, otherwise you will get discouraged very quickly. When you can internalize this, it will encourage you like noting else can.

Hope this helps...if you have more questions, come on back! It is nice to have you on board here. This is an excellent site where you can learn a lot that will enable you in your walk with the LORD.

Blessings,
ginnyrose


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Sandra Miller

 2007/5/12 11:47Profile
tjservant
Member



Joined: 2006/8/25
Posts: 1658
Indiana USA

 Re: Advice for situation with friend

This may speak to you

[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=16785&forum=34]The Saint Must Walk Alone[/url]

Another great Tozer article


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TJ

 2007/5/12 11:53Profile
HopePurifies
Member



Joined: 2007/4/12
Posts: 181
Georgia, USA

 Re:

Ginny,

What you suggest was one of the things I was thinking. I saw the red flag, but I know I am being very hesitant because of how otherwise kind and generous these people are to me. Thats why I wanted to see what others thought first, to make sure I wasn't being rash or exhibiting the very selfishness they speak of by needing to separate.
I am going to make sure to talk to them again very straightforwardly one more time. I noticed that when I did that with the father, he was very repentant, and I did notice a change.
Thank you very much for your advice!
The daughter is young like I am, and so I wouldn't want to be as cut and dry with her as one would with a mature Christian. But the bible often says that separation would cause changes of heart, and then she and I could be friends again afterward. That would be the optimal of optimal conditions.
I will entrust this situation to God.


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Melanie

 2007/5/12 12:55Profile





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