How Do I Stop Losing Friends Because of God?
I understand the scope of which it seems impossible to keep your faith to yourself. I’ll tell you all about it in a minute. It’s an inner struggle to some believers as they mature. A need to be more discerning in how we speak about the name of Jesus and who we let into our world of the supernatural. It seems like todays world is a toss up of ideologies, swaying between what we feel one day, and what we know to be right the next. This leaves us as Christians in the difficult place of navigating our faith in the workplace, in pop culture and even in close friendships.
But how do we navigate through pursuing God with all of our hearts, explaining the process to the people that we love, and making sure that they are okay with the changes that we go through?
I think you see where this is going. I don’t want to be some salty religion blogger who is going to sit at my desk in my underwear (not actually happening) and tell you to drop your crew. If you read any of my stuff you know how important I think friendship is! But the main thing I need you to focus on is why?
Why do you want your friends/loved ones to be okay with your change?
Why do you want to change?
Why is there a need to change?
Arguably, one of the hardest things to do in life is to genuinely assess yourself. Because of this, this is one of the Holy Spirits functions. Scripture calls Him our Counselor. God helps us to see ourselves in a light that is absolute truth in graceful love. When we can see ourselves for who we really are and why we really need others to accept the changes in us, we will be able to make big decisions about whether or not it matters.
I’m not only an introvert, but a former atheist. When I first became a believer it was assumed ridicule from my circle of friends. Sitting around the fire passing the blunt as the big elephant in the room was the fact that I was going to church, and even playing some guitar there. There would be snide comments like “What has ‘the lord’ ever done for you?” and I simply had to make a decision. I could stop my pursuit of the divine simply to spare myself some bromantic teasing, or I could do what I knew in my heart to be right. To change despite what my friendship would go through.
It wasn’t up to God it was up to me. God had already knocked on my door it was my decision to open it. The time came where I needed to distance myself from my addictions. Daily drug habits from pot, psychedelics, and alcohol to girls and things as simple as the wrong kind of music. I wasn’t leaving my friends, I was drawing near to God. I wasn’t bailing on them, I was cashing in on my forgiveness. The more I see them now, the more I truly believe after all these years, we have an unspoken understanding of that.
I couldn’t be around what I struggled with, and for the most part they respected me for that. It got to a point where we didn’t talk as much, but because of the gospel I now loved; when we did speak, it was about things that mattered. My friendships were never the same. They are now fewer and further between, but they are much deeper. I love them more vibrantly expecting nothing in return.
I certainly did have my young and dumb fumbling of a stupid Christian, and those friends that couldn’t look past that didn’t last. But the real friends are still here. Still around and still friends transpiring faith, age, gender, and economic backgrounds.
So if I can offer you a little bit of hope as you walk into your pursuit of the divine, I give you this. The real friends you have will understand…eventually. It may take years. They may never come out and say “I get it, I get why you love Jesus.” But they may show you. They may show you in ways like text messages saying “I really need someone to talk to right now.” or random invitations to BBQs even though they haven’t seen you in years. Or random spurts of inspiration on your Facebook (or snapchat nowadays) even a simple “What do you think about this, you’re the sane one of the group.”
These things let us know. They gotchu. They feel you. They hold you down. They might not walk in the church doors. But life is long. If they haven’t, tell them to read –> this.