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Friends vs. Neighbors. Help!

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by sydroth623, Jan 3, 2016.

  1. I've realized lately that I have a hard time making friends. I'm very picky about the people I become close with. I've always wondered if this is a symptom of self-righteousness (you're not worthy of being my friend), or my being lazy (I'm an introvert- I prefer books over people).

    Now, I'm wondering if maybe I have friends confused with neighbors, in the Biblical sense. For example, I own a business that allows me to meet people from all walks of life. The other day, I met a woman who identified as a wiccan, and her fiance who had a t-shirt with the daying, "who needs jesus when you have satan?"

    Now, I have learned that these two are in a bad situation, and my husband and I sat and listened to their story, and were able to help out. There are a few other people who either reject Christ, or only halfway recognize Him, that have come into our lives recently needing some form of help.

    My husband and I see this as an opportunity to show the Love of Christ. We refrain from preaching to them, but we have made it clear when asked where we stand with God. Now, we are being invited to birthday parties and movies with them. Although I know I should show the love of Christ, I have a hard time becoming too close with them. There's lots of cussing, and conversations I'm not comfortable with.

    This brings me to my question. Is it self-righteous to keep them at arm's length? And to avoid making friendships? I feel like my true friends are those I can talk to freely about God, and I can't do that with them. Would it be considered judgemental to help out, but not develop relationships? And if so, how do you develop a close relationship when there's no moral common ground?
  2. Having openly declared they are for Satan rather than Jesus .Though I doubt very much if they know what what they are doing .More in love with the idea of open rebellion against God than realy understanding the reality of their perilous state.
    They have none the less openly declared their rebellion.
    Here then is where true spiritual discernment si needed . As to whether they have sold themselves to do evil. and have crossed the line from which there is no return.
    But to answer first the first thing.
    What is a neighbour? if not one of another household and of a different father ?
    and what then is a brother? If not one of the same household and of the same father .
    We are to love our neighbour as ourselves . Desiring the same blessing for them as you desire for yourself.
    But you should refuse to let them into your house that is sanctified (?) unto the Lord ,When they are openly in rebellion against him.
    What you should do is to pray very earnestly AGAINST what they are wearing and pray FOR them to remove it .
    One of two things will happen .They will repent or at some point and remove it or apologise to you for having worn it or violently REACT to you or what you say to them.
    Speak over the fence as it were if they are you neighbours .
    But do not let them into your life or house .For the above reason.
    For if they have rejected Christ and openly say it why then should you in anyway conform to them?

    How can two walk together unless they agree?
    if they can be saved at all it is with tongs out of the fire.
    Not as any you meet along the road.
    In Christ
  3. Hello and I hope this message finds you well. Firstly let me say well done for the way you handled your situation, very impressive indeed and so too is your concerns within your own spirit. I think when we look at Jesus we see a God who didn't mind at all being in among the worst of sinners and the people who were marginalized in society so the only real answer I feel I could put across with your concerns is that Jesus, took every individual and situation at it's merits and acted accordingly. Since every person is so different I suppose it's truly important to view them as unique and seek the leading of God in each situation.

    I think your skills are spot on and you did so well and I know exactly what you mean when it comes to keeping some of those who may not believe at arms length. God loves each and everyone of them but at the end of the day they simply don't believe what we believe putting us in that natural position of defence which I believe is good. I think you should go forward with them trusting the leading of God within to either do or not do and by the sounds of things, you have a sensitivity to the Spirit of God, you should trust it. Hope this adds to the discussion...
    KingJ and Cturtle say Amen and like this.
  4. My wife and I only have acquaintances. People of the world don't like to hang with real Christians. I don't judge them, but I don't have anything in common with most people. Even my kids stay home. We prefer ourselves instead of the things of the world.
    Major, KingJ and christianbacktobasics says Amen and like this.
  5. It really doesn't sound like you _want_ to befriend this couple.

    Are you comfortable filtering their speach, removing profanity while hearing and evaluating what they have to say? Are you interested in what they have to say (about Satanism)?

    Do you like the same movies?

    If you include a meal, will you feel comfortable thanking God for His providence?

    Can you be as upfront about things of Christ as they are about the Satanic?

    When my sons were young men, I told them that if they hang with losers they will become losers. If they hang with winners, they will learn what it takes to be a winner. It is human nature to become more like those with whom you are surrounded.

    It's not really a case of feeling superior to them but more self preservation.
  6. Thank you. I come from a family that was very judgemental of others, but couched it in claiming God didn't want us around *those* people.

    I have been doing my best to break that feeling, and see myself as a vessel for God to do His work. Who am I to limit His love to people I approve of?

    At the same time, I feel the Bible warns about becoming too close to people who are not followers of Christ. Some tell me I need to befriend unbelievers in order to make Jesus more attractive. But, I can't bring myself to condone parties by accepting invitations, or gossip by listening when they complain about each other.

    I just want to be sure I am not still placing myself above *those* people. I have an old pastor who believes any act on my part to protect myself from the influences of others is doubt that God will protect me.
    Cturtle likes this.
  7. But how do you balance that with a faith shown by works? My family also prefers to be alone, but I do feel Jesus called us to also minister to others, which involves being in the world.

    Not trying to argue. Just genuinely asking.
    Abdicate and Fish Catcher Jim say Amen and like this.
  8. I don't feel comfortable. Mostly because I have a young daughter who is picking up habits. I don't know if that's just judgemental or wisdom, but I do feel my first priority is the spiritual well-being of my family.
    Fish Catcher Jim and Cturtle say Amen and like this.
  9. Greetings,
    There are those who are distant friends such as folks you work with or know from your daily life and then their are those friends who we draw close to and have a deeper friendship.
    There are those we call friends that we would not ever leave alone in our homes or invite them into our personal lives and then there are those who we would hand the key to our home and not think twice about it.

    We are called to love All People but we are not called to like All people.
    I too do not allow very many people to be a part of my every day life - for example I had a friend who I would take over any one to be on my boat with me and fishing tournaments for he just knew what to do on the boat in a pinch and knew how to fish. I would not ever bring him home to my house or hang out with him in his life.

    Use your best judgment and always seek God in everything including friendships. God will make sure you know that you know when it comes to some one He has brought into your life for any reason.
    God Bless
    Cturtle likes this.
  10. In my thoughts, and given that these people openly serve the devil. You have an obligation to protect your spirits and minds at all costs. Jesus loved everyone yes...but He also was very picky with whom he spent the majority of His time with. So as we are to imitate Jesus...your ministry in this couple's life is to show them the love of Jesus. But at the same time you have to with an intensity (as described in the psalms) protect the Word of God that is in you. For if you don't then you will end up being like them instead of leading them to Christ. Our minds left unrenewed (daily) to the Word of God, opens the door to the things of the world to creep in, and those things can cause us to be amiss in our relationship with the Lord.

    Keep all of this before the Lord and allow Him to be your constant guide. Meaning ask Him constantly what you should be doing. If they ask you to the movies, tell them you need to think about it and then ask God if you should go, then get back to them. Etc..... Timing with God is everything.

    God bless! Welcome to cfs! We will be praying for you!
    sydroth623 and Fish Catcher Jim say Amen and like this.
  11. Sounds to me as if you are right on in how you are thinking! and you should be praying for your pastor :)

    If we are not sensitive to the Holy Spirit, and obeying His direction...we can get ourselves into situations that God was trying to protect us from.
    sydroth623 and Fish Catcher Jim say Amen and like this.
  12. Paul is crystal clear to us on this in 1 Cor 5.

    10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.

    11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

    In a nutshell. It is good that they are not professing to be Christians. According to Paul you should keep company with them. It is one of the chief reasons you and I are on earth.

    You just need to remain Christ with them. You don't swear. You don't talk immorally. You don't back bite. Whenever you find a moment to tell them about Jesus, you do it. Always try fit the bibles teaching into a conversation. After a while they will either stop going out with you or they will be joining you at church. It is a good thing if they want your company! This is Christianity 101 for us all.

    I do find it harder to go out with the unsaved though now that I am married with kids. I do not want their nonsense influencing my kids. So I enforce harsher toleration of sin levels with them.

    My wife and I had friends from prior to marriage that were unsaved that we do still visit. Our relationship with them is all in the light. They have no doubt we are Christians. They watch their words and actions around us. I see this as them indirectly accepting Jesus on a level. They are not saved but progress is definitely being made. This is where you want all your unsaved friends to be in time. It speaks volumes of someone choosing to have you (Jesus) in their company. We just need to ensure they always relate to us as ambassadors of Jesus.
  13. So, what about all the verses about being cautious as to what you allow yourself to be exposed to? Or being in the world but not of it? God does also call us to surround ourselves with likeminded individuals. He also told His disciples that if anyone rejects their teaching, to move on.

    I've always taken this to mean that if God leads us to form a relationship with a non-believer, then that's exactly what we should do. However, if we surround ourselves with those who are apart from God without God's instruction, we become vulnerable to deception. He does warn that keeping company with evildoers usually ends in a desire to follow suit, not the evildoers desire to do good. That can only happen through the Holy Spirit.

    Not trying to argue. Just discussion. I hate that so many people take to arguing on here. It's counter-productive.
  14. I'm here aren't I? :D I don't have to go to bars or restaurants or even church buildings to do God's work. The Lord leads and I follow. We go to church buildings when the Lord leads us to go. Many "do" but are not asked to "do". They feel they have an obligation because some preacher said so. We are to be led by the Holy Spirit, not our whims or those of others. If I give a homeless person $100 because I feel obligated, then I'm doing it out of self-righteousness. But if the Lord tells me to give that person my spare room and I don't, which is worse? If I act out of self-righteousness then I have my reward here on earth, Matt 5:46; 6:1-2; 6:5; 6:16. Living in the Spirit and being obedient is far more important, 1 Sam 15:22. If you plant a seed when the ground isn't ready you could create a still born christians just like many "1, 2, 3, pray after me" folks, who are not saved because they trust a prayer and not the One they're supposedly praying to. Christianity is about the truth through God's POWER. Living examples of His POWER. Sadly most Christians are just lip service or self-service people.

    Here's an example: You have a friend who has a drug problem. They come to you asking for money, but you do not know they have a drug problem. The Holy Spirit tells you NOT to give them money, and the Spirit doesn't tell you that they're broke so they can be discovered and get help. The Spirit wants you to be obedient. But you do the "Christian" thing and give them $500... now they're set for another two months for their drug habit. God wanted them to get help, but now you've set them back further. What's worse than them remaining in their prison, you maybe even get them killed because they get high and drive and they hit a tree, or worse. You get the point.

    The just SHALL live by faith.
  15. I understand completely. I'm only asking for clarification because an old pastor of mine keeps telling me the opposite. For example:

    The Bible says to love our enemies. My pastor therefore signed up to house Syrian refugees simply because they're our enemy. I asked him if that was wise. He told me that since the Bible says to love our enemies, and those are our enemies, then every Christian is called to do all we can for them. Concerning ourselves with our own safety is just doubt in God. He then stated that all the verses that refer to Christians not keeping company with others refers to other Christians who fall astray, not non-believers.

    I still don't agree with him, but I also want to make sure I look to other believers for their insight before I deny his opinion.

    This also launched me into a study of the passages about loving God, loving our neighbors, and loving our enemies. Basically, I came to the understanding that there is no difference between how we love enemies and neighbors. However, there is a huge difference between that and how we love God.

    I believe a lot of Christians interpret "love your enemies" to mean" love your enemies as you love God". With everything you have. But God uses wisdom in dealing with enemies, and I believe we should follow His example.
  16. The Pharisees condemned Jesus because he hanged out with sinners, but his response back to them cleared up any accusations about what he was doing.

    Mar 2:16.. And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?
    Mar 2:17.. When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

    The only reason Jesus hanged out with sinners was to call them to repentance, not to just enjoy a meal with them, or talk about current events happening in the world. Doctors don't go to work to just hang out with their patients, they go to bring healing to the sick.

    I would say it depends on the "conversations" you are having with these people, either Godly, or just worldly speaking that helps no one.
  17. #18 KingJ, Jan 6, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2016
    1. We need to judge ourselves daily in fear and trembling before God. So if we are falling into sin we may need time out. However if we do not reach out and witness to those unsaved God brings our way, we fail even harder then tainting ourselves with sin. I would only differentiate between those unsaved in mortal sins and those not. Anyone GLBT, spend little time socializing with. Everyone in the West has heard of Christianity. Because of this, we hardly have to preach at first to anyone. I believe it is more our lifestyle and the love of Jesus that they see in us that woo's them over. For anyone to see this, takes socializing on our behalf. Being in the world is being with the unsaved. Not of it, is not taking part in their sins.

    2. We need to differentiate between three people / types of relationships. i Witnessing circle, ii Christian / fellowship circle and iii blood family.

    We are always there for our blood family. Saved or not. Witnessing circle has an expiry date as you said. We just need to understand that the disciples / us need to spend a while with the unsaved before we write them off. Anyone living is only living because God has hope for them. Christians are our new blood family. But the significance of always being there for our earthly blood family is simply the reality that there is no doubt in the universe that we are the person God wants to use to reach them.

    3. No evildoer will ever come your way that God did not want you to witness too. God puts us where He wants and needs us / with whom He wants and needs us. We are distributed like salt on the earth. Of course we will always be influenced by those unsaved God puts us with. This is inevitable. But God is with us.

    1 John 4:4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
  18. I like your pastor (y) :). Though I also agree with you saying we should use wisdom. We don't help a rapist in our house when we have vulnerable kids.
    Major likes this.
  19. I don't see the need to always be mindful of whether or not God says X or Y. If person X comes our way it should be pretty clear God wants us to help them.

    The example of the drug addict does not require us to feel we are lead by God or wait for Him to tell us something before we help. We simply need to use our brain. For Example: If the persons veins are popping out we should know where our money is going.

    I am not completely disagreeing with you Ab. I think its great that you can live like this.
    Fish Catcher Jim likes this.

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