The concept is simple: students provide the questions, everyone gives input, we give an answer. The questions range in topics (as you will see), but we our aim is to give a Biblically-grounded, gospel-driven, Christ-centered answer, one that has application and meaning for each of us.
Have a question that you would like answered about faith, church, family, life, struggles, situations, me, jokes, anything, etc.? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I won’t use your name in the blog and I’ll try and answer as many as I can each week.
As always, these are real questions from real students.
How do you tell your friends to stop cussing?
My friends has a problem with boys. How do I tell her to stop?
How do you help friends that sin?
I lumped all of these questions together because they all tend to deal with the same issue. What do we do when our friend ______? How do we help them?
So, what do we do when our friends are sinning?
Firsts things first – we need to examine our heart. This is always the hardest thing which is usually why it is the most important thing; you and I need to believe that I am a sinner just as much as the other person is a sinner and I need Jesus just as much as the other person needs Jesus. You need to know that you and your friend share the same problem – a sinful heart. Our bad actions come from that sin. So, make sure that you are confessing your sin and repenting of sin before you go and accuse someone else of their sin (Matthew 7:3-5).
Second – You need to pray for that person. Remember! You and your friend both need a Savior and you don’t fit that job description! Only Jesus can wash away sins. Only Jesus can save. My friend David once prayed this prayer, “Lord, you have called us not to make bad people good but to make the dead come to life and we are not able to do it. So Lord we need you and your Spirit to do its work!” This prayer is amazing. It echos a passage of scripture in Ephesians 2 and 2 Corinthians 5 that calls us Christians “Ambassadors” to go into dead places, live there, and bring life there, but that it it God’s work, because he loves people. So, pray for that person, that as you share with them the good news of Jesus, that they would listen and respond.
Third – You should try and have a relationship with that person. Our human default setting is to push people away whenever they confront us. We get defensive and angry when people call us out. We don’t like it. No one lies it. But being friends with people makes it easier (not easy … just easier) to come back and love them.
Fourth – Go talk to that person. Just go right up to them and talk to them about what has been bothering you and talk it out. Talk it through. Don’t gossip, don’t talk behind their back. Just approach them intentionally and talk to them.
Now, like I said, our human default is to push people back and get defensive when we are called out, so don’t push to hard. Be gentile. Make sure to be gracious to them and show them love.
What do you do when a close friend who knows Jesus is having a struggle you aren’t involved in?
What do you do if you feel like you’re losing your best friend?
When a person who is really close to us feels like they are slipping away or they are struggling and they won’t tell you what’s going on, what you have to do is be there for them and be intentionally about being their for them. Sometimes, that means speaking. Most of the time, a friend just needs to know that whenever they do need to talk, you will be there. So make that known.
Say, “I am here to listen whenever you need to talk.” Repeat that over and over. And spend some quality time with that person.
Something that will come up: they may tell you about the struggle. They may share with you what has been going on and it may be the most screwed up thing you have ever heard in your entire life …
but to make a difference in your relationship with that person, you can’t be shocked. You need to listen without thinking, “Oh my! This happened? You did this? I can’t believe you … I can’t believe you did this… I can’t believe _________” Here’s why:
Whenever that happens, we, in our hearts, get very self-righteous. We tend to think that we are better than the person confessing the struggles they have been going through. But your sin, no matter how light or fluffy you may think it is, has the same effect on you as it does on other people: separation from God. Our ancestor Adam brought sin into this world and it jacked everything up. People, yourself and myself included, are more messed up than we could ever imagine. Praise the Lord that the grace of God is greater than the worst sin.
So please, for the sake of the kingdom, don’t sit down with a person and say that you are ready to listen if you are going to be shocked and self-righteous in your heart when you hear their struggles. Humbly repent of those things and believe that you are in need of a Savior daily just as much as the person opening up and being vulnerable.
A quickie compared to the others this week. Again, I ask for any other questions that you may be wrestling with. Feel free to email email@example.com and I will try and answer your question on the blog.
Tomorrow, we’ll have questions about peer pressure. Enjoy the snow!