Dear Christian: Do you love your friendship more than you love your friend?

I was listening to Mark Hall from Casting Crowns mention how we live in a time where we love our friendship more than we love our friend. It is so true and it is a tough place to be as a Christian. We all want to be liked, we do not want to be hated even though Jesus warned us that we would be hated and to remember that the world hated Him first. But that does not make it any easier for us. Many of us are more concerned with offending people than we are concerned with offending God. If a friend is headed down the wrong path (according to what God’s Word says is the wrong path), we tend to look the other way because we do not want to come across as judgmental. We want to mind our own business. I know I do not want to be that way — I need God’s help.

Think about it. How can we claim to love our friend if we are willing to see them continue in ways we know are not pleasing to God? If I am headed down a path that leads to destruction and causes me to be sinning against God which also means that I am separated from Him, I sure hope that someone would be brave enough to pull me aside and give me something to think about and pray that I would listen and turn the other way.

When I was drinking and driving all those early years of being depressed, lost, and careless, I wish I would have had people care enough to tell me that I was headed down a path of great destruction. It was many years later, but I was fortunate to have God’s Divine intervention in my life before I lost it. Even so, I do not think that God will always move in that way. I think many times He guides people like us to help our friends. He gives us the strength, the courage, the words, the timing, etc., when we seek Him to do the right thing. I think we as Christians need to do the right thing and speak up even if it means there’s a chance of losing our friendship – a chance of being hated.

We need to speak God’s truth in love and we should not be surprised if we are hated by it. It’s the right thing to do. I just wanted to put this out there to give something to really think about. I have had this on my mind for a while, but it took a while muster up the courage to post it. I hope it pulls on some heartstrings. Jesus does not want anyone to perish and we should not want that to happen either. Let’s be strong and courageous and be bold to speak God’s truth in love at the risk of losing. Because that is love. Besides, I feel that if I am going to lose, I would rather lose loving the souls of my friends more than loving their friendship.

Mark Hall reminded me that Scripture says that we can love people with truth. As we know, the truth can really hurt sometimes, but I think that’s when it also becomes life-saving. I cannot help but also remember that Jesus cared so much that He died for us sinners. He never felt the pleasure of sin like we have, but He sure knew the pain of it – ALL of it. We do not have to die for our friends, Jesus took care of that. So how can we not do our part? How can we not love our friends enough to save them and turn them toward the life-saving love of Jesus?

I hope you will join me in being strong and courageous in doing the hard stuff. I’ll pray for you, please pray for me too. We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength. Amen?

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