What Should I Do About A Friend Who Has Different Values Than I Do?

Hi, everyone!

I’m having a really tough time trying to word this, so please, bare with me. :slightly_smiling_face:

A dear friend of mine seems to have different values than I do, none of which to be Christian. I am a recent born again Christian, and I am striving to live my every day life for God. It has definitely been a challenge, given my human nature to sin, so I have been doing what I can to keep temptation away. However, I feel pressured to “relate” to my friend’s lifestyle for the sake of our friendship, and it actually pains me to go back to the “old me” for her convenience. I’m not sure how to open up to her about my new relationship with Christ, but in order for me to continue building my relationship with Him, I have to let her know. I don’t want to put our friendship to an end, but I do want her to be aware of this so she can, hopefully, understand and respect my values.

Your advice is greatly appreciated! :pray:t3:

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Hi, @OJMCKEE Sounds like you’re already doing the mature thing here by planning to talk to her. True friends who value a friendship will value the boundaries set from the other person as long as the boundaries don’t violate them. One thing you could do is think up some questions she may ask you. Leave the conversation open for her to ask questions if she wants to know why you feel so strongly about the change.

Most people get angry at what they don’t really understand. Just be sure not to make it seem like she’s beneath you now because you don’t want to go back to your old self. Most of all pray about this before speaking to her. And it doesn’t hurt to really think and ask yourself outside the temptation what do you both like to do. If sin is the foundation of your friendship then be prepared to lose a friend cause it happens sometimes.

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@OJMCKEE Praying for wisdom in sharing Christ and strength to do honor our Lord :slight_smile: As a result of being serious about Jesus, I have had some friends from high school put distance between themselves and me, while others didn’t mind so much. The following are some of my thoughts:

  • if we love our friends, the one thing we cannot do is keep silent about Jesus or compromise our witness by participating in sin - we may be the only chance they have to see Jesus
  • if we speak with genuine respect and love, we leave the relationship itself in God’s hands
  • we do not need to talk about Jesus all the time if the person is not ready to hear and it is just going to irritate them, but we should at least share that we have accepted Christ and what that means for the way we live

The Testimony of Brothers and Sisters Around the World

So many of our fellow Christians face much more than just dislike when they accept Jesus—people downright hate them. And yet they do not keep silent about Jesus! I think their testimony can give us great courage.

Matthew 10:32-39 - “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.

34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn

“‘a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’

37 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.

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@OJMCKEE Hi Olivia :blush: I actually think you worded that really well. The issue of trying to relate to someone for the sake of your friendship with them is important, because it makes us ensure they are also trying to relate to us. A healthy friendship is a two-sided thing and I think what you are really going to be testing is whether she can reciprocate the friendship now that you’ve changed. I just have a couple of personal examples that I hope might help as you consider this prayerfully.

I spent years living in a worldly way, and had many friends sharing it with me. When I came back to God, one of the friendships died very quickly. I tried to maintain the friendship, but clearly my friend lost interest now that I wasn’t going out drinking and partying like I had done previously. That is an example of how one friendship ended. There was no deep hurt for either of us, I think because the friendship was founded on superficial things.

I have another friend who I’ve actually grown closer to. She is an atheist but since I’ve come back to God, i have actually been able to relate to her more, and vice versa. I believe this is because I have a deep conviction that drives my life, whereas, previously I was like a ship tossed to and fro on the waves (Ephesians 4:14) and she couldn’t respect that in me. We now have incredibly meaningful conversations based on a mutual and equal friendship and respect, despite the fact we hold opposing beliefs.

I can see that you want to put Christ first, and that is the best starting place. Keep giving this to Him as you proceed. Your friendship with her will either be strengthened through this, or it may dwindle. God has you secure, whatever the outcome. And may I suggest you pray for some more friends who share your love for Christ? I had to pray for this and God was so gracious in providing the right people to surround me at the right time.

I’ll be praying for you, let us know how it goes :blush:.

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