Speaking the Truth Can Affect Friendships

Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.
— Matthew 5:11-13

There are those who gain friends and lose faith and there are those who lose friends and gain faith.  I am happy to say that I have friends who are not Christians, those who are weak Christians, those who are strong Christians and some in other religions.  We have a mutual respect, but they know that I am a Christian and I will speak the truth regardless of friendship or feelings.  I would never say or do anything to purposely hurt someone but speaking God’s Truth does not fit in that category.

Several weeks ago my Niece messaged me about a friend of hers she had a question about.  Her friend is a liberal and claims to be a Christian and is famous for twisting Scripture to fit a warped belief system.  My Niece would try to help by pointing out that she was taking Scripture out of context.  The liberal friend blocked my niece from her Facebook because she didn’t want to hear the truth.  Of course, my Niece was saddened over the situation but knew that she had done what a true Christian should do.  “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful” Proverbs 27:6. I was so proud of my Niece for not compromising her faith just to keep a friend. 

It didn’t take long for me to take notice in some friendships when I dedicated my life fully to the Lord. At times it came in the form of mocking, but it also came in the form of rejection.  There are way too many Christians who compromise their faith to keep a friend.  And please, don’t use, “I want to keep the door open” for an excuse.  You can do that without compromising.  Your friend may drop you and it may break your heart, but you will be the first one they turn to when they are truly seeking the Lord or in need of help.  I’ve found that to be true on numerous occasions.  It used to really discourage me when a friend would drop me because they didn’t want to hear what I had to say about something.  But as I grew in the Lord, my discouragement gradually changed to encouragement.

When we draw closer to God, we can end up suffering on many levels; physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, but suffering in the name of Jesus is a high compliment!  In fact, Scripture says, “If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.” (1 Peter 4:14).

This isn’t to say it feels good to lose friends or see some friendships weaken. It isn’t to say that we should want or seek persecution or that it will even happen to us all. But it does test our character, endurance and sincere attempt to live by faith.

Evil will do all it can to work through situations and people to cause us to doubt or even abandon our paths. By understanding that we must lose our life to gain it (even if that means a certain type of social life or “worldly” standard of living), we embrace the totality of the life God gave us to live, the one with doors waiting to open and miracles waiting to happen.

 And losing friends doesn’t mean forever. Differences challenge us, but the challenge is a good one. It’s during the tough times that we discover what we’re made of, especially when we endure them while remaining respectful and kind to others, which is a sign of spiritual maturity!