A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post entitled 6 Reasons Why You Need Godly Friends. Yet while I do believe strongly that having close Godly friends is essential for living out the faith, that’s only half of the story. You really do need non-Christian friends too. Here are six reasons why.
1. They Will Expand Your Worldview
We Christians have our own culture, and if you get too many of us like-minded individuals living in close community with each other, we start to form a “bubble.” (I’m having flashbacks to Christian Bible college here!) All of the sudden, you’re surrounded by so many people saying “Just trust Jesus and everything will be okay!” that you forget that there’s an entirely different real world out there with real problems that “Just trust Jesus!” simply can’t fix. Having non-Christian friends will snap you back to reality real quick. 🙂
2. They Will Challenge (and Strengthen!) Your Faith
How many times do we, as Christians, believe something just because we have grown up believing it, without actually knowing why? Non-Christian friends ask the hard questions. The ones you don’t know or can’t quite explain the answers to. This leads you to actually going and finding the answers, which strengthens your faith.
3. They Will Help You See Things With Fresh Eyes
On a similar note, if you’ve grown up in church like I have, you’ve probably heard the same Bible stories so many times you could recite them in your sleep. When you explain them to a non-Christian who hasn’t heard them before, however, suddenly they become new and fresh and full of meaning once again. Like the fact that Jesus rose from the dead. No really. Jesus ROSE FROM THE DEAD. That’s huge! And yet, we take it for granted because we’ve heard it a million times.
4. They Can Help Hold You Accountable
Your Godly friends aren’t the only ones you can hold you accountable; your non-Christian friends can too. I still remember getting called out in high school by an atheist friend who pointed out that I wasn’t living according to what she knew I believed in one area (I don’t remember what it was). With your Christian friends, it’s too easy to be lazy. After all, they understand that no one is perfect. They aren’t going to judge because then they can be judged too! But with your non-Christian friends, there is an extra incentive to set a good example.
5. They are Good Friends!
This one is pretty self-explanatory. A person doesn’t have to believe all the same things as you to be a good friend. If you enjoy their company (and they aren’t going to be a horrible influence on you), then be their friend! Simple as that.
6. They Need What You Have
The first five reasons on this list are all things that benefit you; this one is a little different. The truth is, there is a whole world out there full of people who need to know that Jesus loves them and that He has a plan for their lives. But how will they find out if we don’t tell them? And how will we tell them if we aren’t talking to them? I don’t mean door-to-door “got Jesus?” campaigns. I mean real, authentic, valuable friendships that develop over time. Where you are NOT just their friend to try to “save them,” but where you are their real friend, and so you naturally care about them and want to help them.
I don’t mean to make it an “us vs them” mentality, or to make it a checklist where you can say “I have 5 Godly friends and 2 non-Christian friends–I’m good to go!” The truth simply is: we need some of both. And if you don’t have Godly and non-Christian friends, you really are missing out.
Do you have a good mix of both Christian friends and non-Christian friends, or are you a little one-sided?
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