Hi everyone, I hope you are all fine by God’s grace and that your lent period has started well.
Lately, we’ve been talking about different aspects of friendship. We’ve already done some discussion about bad company and I would like to make it clear that so much as our friends are supposed to draw us closer to God, we too have a sort of responsibility to draw them nearer to Him.
Let’s take a hypothetical situation. Suppose a friend of yours has started doing something really bad, something you don’t approve of, something which is totally against God’s Word and something which doesn’t even correspond to the way your friend was brought up, or at least to what you knew of him/her.
What will you do? What’s your answer?
- “It’s his/her life after all, they make their choices “
- “I’ll let my friend do what ever he/she wants and I’ll still be their very close friend”
- “I’m going to tell him/her what I think about all this “
- ” I just hate his/her behavior, it makes me so angry and as from now I’m kicking them out of my heart and or my life, I just hate them”
With time, and in the course of learning to know people, I have noticed that most often the answer will be 1. In that case, there’s often either a total disinterest in what the other one is doing, or a certain fear that if we rebuke them we will certainly lose their friendship, or they may never even listen to us.
Furthermore, I think that those who answer 2 surprise me the most, because they know their friends are misbehaving but they definitely prefer to do nothing. They won’t even attempt to create some distance with them in order to show their indignation.
Anyhow, in any such case, the best option is always to look into God’s Word in order to know what to do.
Leviticus 19:17 New International Version
Do not hate a fellow Israelite in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in their guilt.
Leviticus 19:17 King James Version
Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.
From this verse, the best thing to do is
- Do not hate them : It’s really easy to feel really negative things towards someone close to us, when the person misbehaves. However, we should never keep it in our hearts against them.
- Rebuke them : Find a way to tell them that what they did/ what they’re doing/what they’re about to do is wrong. Remind them who they are in The Lord, their identity as Christians.
- Do your best : Make sure you did your best to tell them, so that even if they dwell in that sin you won’t be guilty because you would have done your part.
It’s only once you’ve spoken to them in love and that they have refused to listen, that you should start saying stuff like “it’s their choice”.
Don’t give up on your friends before you’ve tried to rebuke them.
Never stop praying for them.
Eternal Lord thank You for teaching me the importance of not remaining silent but of rebuking my friends in The Lord. Help me act towards them with love and with prayers. Thank You Father, in Jesus Christ’s Name. Amen.
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Thanks for reading.