Should I Hang Out with Her?

I realized that when we hung out, I wasn't being very Christlike.
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I've always had plenty of friends, Christians and non-Christians. With Christians, it's great to have that shared faith between us. And with non-Christians, I always try to share my faith with them.

But I haven't always done what I believed. I haven't always influenced my non-Christian friends like I should. Maybe they wouldn't cuss or drink around me because they knew I was a Christian. But they'd always go back to their old ways. I've also wondered how they might be influencing me.

I've had this one non-Christian friend a long time. But recently, I realized that when we hung out, I wasn't being very Christlike. Not that I was doing anything terribly wrong, but my faith wasn't making a difference in her life. And if anything, her lack of faith sometimes brought me down. It just wasn't a good combination when we were together.

Then it hit me: Pray for her, but don't hang out with her.

In 2 Corinthians 6, Paul says, "Do not be yoked together with unbelievers . …What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? … 'Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord'" (verses 14-17).

When Paul says not to be "yoked" with non-Christians, he doesn't mean we can't be friends. I think he just means we shouldn't become so emotionally connected to those friends that they could hurt our own walk with God. And that's what had started happening with my friend.

I knew I had to make some changes. I told my friend, "We have completely different beliefs. The way you're living isn't the way I want to live. I have to live according to God's Word. And as long as we're not doing that together, I can't keep hanging out with you."

I wouldn't be that blunt with just anybody. But we'd been friends for years, and we were always very honest with each other.

She understood, and we've backed off. The funny thing is, since we've stopped hanging out, she's become more interested in God. We talk sometimes on the phone, and I think she's considering becoming a Christian.

It won't always turn out that way, of course. Sometimes the friendship might just come to a complete end. They might never become a Christian. But my life has to line up with with the Word of God.

Sure, I still have non-Christian friends. But I'm a lot more careful about those friendships now.

Danielle, one of the three sisters who make up the R&B group Out of Eden, can speak Spanish and is now learning her second foreign language, Portuguese. Checkout their new CD, This Is Your Life (Gotee).

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