Good Advice

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I Want to Make Non-Christian Friends

I have a lot of Christian friends, which I think is important. But I also want to tell non-Christians about Jesus. My problem is I don't have many non-Christian friends. I'm really friendly, but have no idea how to go deeper with those who don't know Christ.

I appreciate your zeal and passion to share your faith. When I first became a Christian and started to witness to non-Christians, someone said I needed to "earn the right to be heard." You build relationships with non-Christians just like you do with Christians. Find common interests and areas of their lives where you can relate to them. I've found I can build friendships with non-Christians around hobbies, sports and common passions.

As you develop a deeper friendship with them, sharing your faith will become a natural part of your relationship. If non-Christians believe you are befriending them only to share your faith, they will often not be as interested in what you have to offer them. I ask myself, "What is this non-Christian friend's greatest need? Is it a good listener? Is it a study buddy? Is it simply someone to sit with them at the lunch table?" Many people are open to spiritual things at their point of need. Find their needs and help meet them.

People Judge the Way I Dress

At school, I'm considered a Goth because of how I dress. People judge me by my looks and don't believe I'm a Christian. Do you have any advice on how I can show my faith without giving up how I dress?

Whether or not it's your intention, your choice to dress like a Goth will, unfortunately, stereotype you.

By choosing to dress in a Goth style, you will be judged by many because all they know about Goth is Marilyn Manson, Columbine killers and other Goths the media has put in front of them. Can you be a Christian and dress like a Goth? I think you can. But remember these two things: People will judge you because of how you dress. And as a Christian, you'll want to check your motives about your appearance. My suggestion is to focus on your relationship with Jesus and let him mold you into the person he desires you to be. And be open to the possibility of making slight adjustments to the way you dress.

Should Christians Drink?

If Jesus drank wine, then is it OK for Christians to drink alcoholic beverages? I have a friend who thinks it's OK to drink, but not get drunk.

Your friend is right about not getting drunk. The Bible is quite clear: "Do not get drunk with wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit" (Ephesians 5:18). What Paul says here makes a great deal of common sense. You can't walk and live by the Spirit and be intoxicated at the same time. When someone is drunk, they're not in control of their life. The alcohol is in control.

I come from a family where alcoholism is prevalent. I believe there's a biological disposition toward alcoholism. Which means if you have blood relatives who are alcoholics there is a much greater chance you could become one. Your body may handle alcohol in a different manner than someone who doesn't have alcohol in their family background. I choose not to drink. My three main reasons are named Christy, Rebecca and Heidi—my daughters. If they see me drink even one glass of beer, wine or even champagne at a wedding, they may think, Dad drinks, so I will too. Then they may find out the hard way that their bodies crave and react differently to alcohol than some other people's.

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