Several weeks ago a friend visited my desk to chat when she noticed a small square paper hanging on my cubicle wall. She asked what it said and leaned in closer to read it. The quote was about staying open to the change God wants to do in our lives.
An uncomfortable look formed on her face and she said something about how HR doesn’t allow religion in the workplace. I wasn’t sure if she was kidding or serious, so I asked if it offended her. She said, “Well, it’s definitely weird.”
I’ve noticed a difference in some friendships since dedicating my life fully to God. At times it comes in the form of mocking, especially after sharing a great story that feels highly inspiring, but it also comes in the form of rejection.
At first this new dynamic was hard to swallow; it felt like I was being torn between two worlds. It was great getting invites to dinner or drinks with friends, and yet I had so many exciting changes happening in my life that I wanted to share. It seemed clear that the topic was odd and perhaps a little unbelievable.
On one particularly hard day, I drove home feeling like a total outcast. I asked God how to bridge the gap between faith and friends and prayed for his continued guidance. I started fiddling around with radio stations and actually found a sermon about spiritual suffering. During it the priest mentioned that suffering for our faith comes with our continued growth. 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.” (1Peter 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 have to 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. (A sign of spiritual maturity!)
Update from 2017:
This remains one of my favorite posts because I still remember how lonely this time felt. But rest assured that it ends. And there’s something you can do in the meantime… One Day I Prayed for Friends and This is What Happened
Don’t worry, I’ve run into the same situation before, but when you follow Christ, although you may lose some friends, you’ll also gain new ones.
I wish I could’ve been there that day at your desk. I’ll have to drop by again and look for the paper on your wall. 🙂
Jennifer Johns says
Thanks for the support Hua– I think you’re right! When there’s something new working in our lives, it always seems abrupt or even scary to others. Luckily when you are given new life, you become a new person. Thank God!
It has been several months since writing this post, but I already feel and see great people coming into our life. Faith and belief.
Jill K Amoni says
Beautiful exchange..I’m reading this blog now because Micah Wilder was a devoted member of LDS for all of his youth but during his missionary stint in FL, while trying to convert a Baptist Minister, he accepted the minister’s challenge to read the Bible as a child…long story short…he became a born again Christian and so did his girlfriend and his whole family of siblings and parents. I am a fb follower and today, he spoke of the losses when one turns their back on an established religion…
In the same vein…I have a dear friend who was admonished by her daughter because she asked for prayer for her adult daughter, for her heart problem. The daughter excoriated her, leaving my friend heartbroken. So, there is much that happens to Christians when they confess their faith but we are of God…not of the world.
God bless you for giving me some nice reading tonight during our blizzard…
Thanks for tweeting this post to me. It makes me feel two things – hope and despair! Hope because someone knows and understands what its like to feel odd, different and the un-nerving, unsettling emotions that brings. Hope, because I can actually talk to another Christian about it but not feel like I’m being shot down in flames for being less than evangelical.
But despair also because I wonder if I can ever get over my people-pleasing to actually be in that place of being open about my faith. You use the example of work. I work for a law firm. The only person there who’s a “christian” is a lady who goes to church every Sunday and is known in the office for lying, causing dissent amongst her colleagues and generally being a backstabber. Hence many comments about “if that’s being religious…” I’ll let you finish that sentence. Then there are my friends and my own husband. I get what you’re saying about suffering but I just don’t know how I get around my desire to be like by all and sundry and my natural aversion to suffering. It’s a sin, it’s a weakness and it stops me from being a good Christian who witnesses willingly.
I’ll keep pressing in but as originally stated from your first post I commented on – I will be thrilled if I slid in through the pearly gates with the smell of smoke on my clothes. Atleast God will have let me in, even if He won’t be saying “well done, good and faithful servant”.
Jennifer Johns says
It’s easy to say “Who cares what people think?” But like any of our own personal temptations and weaknesses, it’s not that easy. It’s not something we can always do on our own.
Let’s pray about it.
I want to thank you so much for writing this. I have recently gone through a similar experience and the pain of friends walking away is one of the worse feelings for me. I was about to go blog about it myself to get all of these feelings out but the website was down so i decided to look for an other blog on the subject to read. This was exactly what I needed to hear! Thank you so much. 🙂
I say “Who cares what my friends think?” But yet I’m scared to tell them what happens when I’m at church. And when I do tell them it seems like they don’t care. It feels like I’ve been losing friends because I go to church and I go so much.
Jennifer Johns says
Megan — Thank you for sharing! It’s hard to lose friends, but one thing that brings comfort is we have a best friend in Christ. He will convict us of what needs to change in our lives, and this won’t always be easy. There will be external consequences. but internal rewards. And external rewards. And heavenly rewards 🙂
Marissa — It sounds like you’re meeting face to face with the “world,” which doesn’t like to hear about church, faith and the kind of living that puts us in good soil (the REAL good soil). The good news is that you’ll start to meet other friends — Godly friends — by going to church and trusting in God to bring them into your life, though it might feel a little like David meeting Goliath for awhile.
Praying for both of you. Thanks for stopping by.
Thank you for your words. It helped me to see that Im not the only one that is going through this. The ones I thought were truly my friends are the ones mocking me and distanced themselves from me. They do not support my new life changes and my faith in god.
I think one of the hardest things about losing friends over my faith is knowing that because I’m a sinner, I share my faith imperfectly, so it is partly my own fault that I couldn’t maintain those friendships as well. Maybe they sensed some pride in my tone or even righteous anger and didn’t understand it. As a very passionate person, it’s hard to find the balance of not censoring what you believe while still being loving to those who don’t share or understand those beliefs yet. I don’t even want to be friends with unbelievers on facebook anymore for fear that they misunderstand me or take something the wrong way and it goes unsaid. I know the way unbelievers talk about Christians and they completely misunderstand what the gospel is all about. I can’t even share prolife websites/videos amongst my Christian friends because they’re all pro-choice and ignore me. Ugh… so lonely.
Angie Dixie n says
Thank you for this relatable post. I’m in a heap of tears at the moment because my best friend literally turned her physical back on me and became venomous. She said , “are you saved!?!” As a way of tripping me up because she knows my imperfections. She did not ask because she cared for me. She said ,”your not baptized are you!?”. I said I was when I was a kid. I told her I am, today 100% saved. I said every day I repent and work on myself. I was caught off guard by the attack and forgot the words, I’m saved because I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior and he died on the cross for me to wash my sins away if ask forgiveness and repent. And follow his ways the best thing can.
I know now after repeatedly feeling her hate when I discuss something so important… that we cannot be friends. I don’t wNt to be friends. It it really hurts A LOT at the moment. one reason is because I may have seemed like a haughty prideful holier than thou Christian. I did not feel that way in my heart. But the wrong words came out. The last words were about how Jesus says to share the word, if they don’t want to hear it… wash my hands of it and move on” and “im concerned for your soul.”. She said, “ don’t be” and left.
Jennifer Johns says
Many of us — if not all! — go through this. It can feel like a lonely road, but God is faithful. He will not leave us abandoned.
I know exactly how everyone here feels, I just lost my best friend to drugs, Santeria , thieving , compulsive lying and on and on.. Even though he was doing all these things I continued to be his friend, his life was a mess with a bed ridden mother , no job, tring to get mental disability , mixing psych meds with street drugs, and he also has HIV and doesn’t take care of himself, so being that I’ve known him for many years and we had become close I always wanted to help out , taking him to dr appointments, driving him to the supermarket , picking him up if he needed help, giving him money and food, whatever I could do to help.. And as my Christian walk has grown stronger I’ve wanted to help people in need more than ever.. But something horrible happened: I went by his trailer to say hello and he was high on strong drugs it was morning, looked like he hadn’t slept for days.. His house was turned upside down , he came out screaming in the street yelling that I had stolen his and his mothers things and their medications.. He sent me threatening texts and I had to call the police and make a report. He was telling me that I was going to hell and that I didn’t love god , I only would reply with; we can no longer be friends , please leave me and my family alone. He had recently stolen my iPod touch for drugs and my house keys had gone missing from his house (I have recently changed the locks) I struggle with this because I wonder is it wrong to not be his friend any longer when he sleeps for 3 days and realizes this horrible thing that he’s done to the only person left in Miami fl . That cared about him like family? I feel that I should not be his friend anymore and just pray for him. My husband says he feels no pity for him and that he’s a liar , a thief and completely selfish person, he has become destructive and I have kids and a family to think about … Talk about being confused about being Christian .. Love thy enemies.. This is a very sad situation but a choice that has to be made wisely, and that choice is that I have to turn the other cheek and walk away, continue to stay on the correct path and to learn from what happened ..
Traci Roberts says
Have you ever heard of Narcissistic Personality Disorder/Jezebel Spirit? This “friend” fits the classic symptoms. I went through a very similar experience (including feeling that I was failing at loving my enemies) until the LORD taught me about boundaries….. Beware the wolf in sheep’s clothing…
test the spirits (John 4:1)
1 Corinthians 5:11
But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people
Romans 16:17-18 ESV
I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.
Remember, Jesus helped everyone who wanted His help.… but there were those who did not want His help and He did not force them to receive Him (Pharisees for example)…
Boundaries don’t mean you don’t love … it means you love enough to respect someone’s decision … and then you love them enough to pray for them…
This reply barely touches the tip of this iceberg, but just be comforted knowing that you are NOT ALONE!!! This is way more common than most people realize!
I recommend a YouTube channel called
JENNUINE SOUL, she is a born-again Christian who teaches about Narcissism/ Jezebel Spirit from a Biblical view.
Praying for you as you fight the good fight and run the race!
Jennifer Johns says
Lupe – Thanks so much for sharing. I think you described a struggle shared by many Christians… wanting to help someone in need (especially a loved one!) and feeling confused about where the lines blur between “helping” and “enabling.”
Love the sinner, hate the sin. Sometimes that means distancing ourselves from unhealthy, abusive, dangerous (etc.) situations… sounds like you’re going through that now.
We’ll pray that God guides you and your family through this Lupe.
God’s word in James 1:5-6:
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
It is so refreshing to see that so many people have gone thru what I am going thru. I have felt all of my friends, and family (siblings, parents, etc) distancing themselves from me because I have become so much more involved with my church~ and am trying to live ‘Christ-like’ not ‘world-like’. It is very difficult when they don’t understand and have no desire to understand. Thankfully my husband is devoted to Christ as well. I am just worried about our children. We are raising them to live in and for Christ, but I worry that they will at some point be ridiculed or cast aside at school or with peers for it (many of my friends and parents of their friends).
Thank you for posting this article. I just recently found Christ, or he found me, and have been so excited to share the news. Like you, I’ve noticed some of my friends (and family members) are now treating me differently, some friends to the point of avoiding me. But it’s okay, as my best friend Jesus Christ is with me. As Jen commented, I’m also blessed to have a wonderful wife and two beautiful children who are also following Christ with me.
Jennifer Johns says
Jen – I know, when it comes to the kids, the challenge can feel harder. But in a way, it doesn’t have to because God loves our children even more than we do, and he has a plan for their life! One of my close friends has been struggling with homeschooling vs. public school. Her husband wants them to go to public school because he believes they can be a light there. God’s word: The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? (Psalm 118:6).
John — That’s awesome! I’m glad to hear your family walks with you in Christ. We are the same way, and also we’ve made great friends in the church body, which really are more like “family.” When this division happens with friends and family, though, it does help us understand what Jesus means in Matt. 10:34 about not coming to bring peace, but a sword. You feel the peace of Jesus, but as others are convicted by the spirit, they may feel uncomfortable with the whole thing and it’s like the old way of being gets divided, split up, etc.
God bless you!
Just recently ive felt the holy spirit. I was so into drugs and had hit rock bottom. Something picked me up and i suddenly had the urge to go to my family’s church. That sunday my sister sang a song at the service. It was so beautiful that i began crying unctrollably. They were tears of joy. There was no denying that incredible feeling. I had known christ before but never had felt it thr way i felt it that day. The whole church prayed for me. When service was over i felt that something bad had left me. Ive been free of my addictions for a good while now and havent had the slightest urge to go back to my old ways. I feel reinvented and am going to suprise my family by letting them know i want to get baptized. That being said, i have lost all my friends. Close friends who i thought would never judge me. Even my own brother whom i love thinks its weird. I feel like they dont believe me or they think im crazy. Theyve distanced themselves. I feel torn apart but deep down i know its gonna be ok. May the holy spirit rest upon this webpage and god bless you all.
Priscila Lo says
Thanks for being so open about your struggles everyone. It’s really refreshing to be able to read and share so openly…I am also going through the same…losing friends it’s def not easy and it really hurts, but knowing that God has always the best in store for me comforts me. Recently, I lost a friend because she misunderstood me when I tried to be honest with her that she was being selfish and focusing on her problems every time I talked to her when she didn’t want to hear about my problems and also the fact that I was always there for her when she needed me. I even planned a farewell party for her and she didn’t thank me personally. When I told her that, she took it as if I wasn’t her real friend that I was just using her and taking advantage of her. And when I was explaining to her why I felt that way, she wouldn’t listen and wouldn’t have it. She is a nonchristian and i did at times try to bring up God and say things like “God loves you” and “you are beautiful just as you are” but she didn’t like talking about Him and didn’t want to listen to what I had to say. Our friendship just ended like that when I was being honest with her and she got defensive about her actions and we no longer talk but I do wish I could have done more to save the relationship. I do feel bad that it ended so any comforting words or advice?
Priscila — without knowing all the details, it could be a miscommunication and maybe in time she’ll be willing to hear your intentions. Give it time, and trust in the Lord. Pray about it and He will give you the right words… and the right timing. Regardless of the outcome — whether your friendship ever rekindles or not — pray for the friend, that she’ll come to know the peace and the love of the Lord.
If it is any comfort, some of the closest and most loving friends I have weren’t even in my life at the time I wrote this post over 3 years ago! Many friendships I had back then didn’t really grow deeper, and for a season I didn’t have many friends at all, but that was when I met girls who have become closer to me than some people I have known my whole life. I never went to church thinking I’d make friends, but through getting involved in different ministries, I met more people and we had the most important part of our lives in common — our love for the Lord! The people God brings into your life are a TRUE blessing. Had there not been a kind of “parting” of ways earlier in my life, I may not have met these people and spent the time with them … but I also know God has a plan for each and every one of us, and when we seek Him, He fills our life with exactly what we need. God’s timing, not ours 🙂
I’ll be praying for you and your friendships.
This Blog is amazing. I have learned so much about myself and learned that people are going through the same things as me. I loved this post.. I have been feeling very lost and alone because most of my friends don’t believe in Christ, we also have very different political views. I have tried to live in 2 differeent worlds, until i realized that I don’t have to. God is the place where I want to be, he is my sanctuary. Thank you for reminding me that I’m not alone in this world because I’m a Christian, and Jesus is my lord!
Hi Alex. You really got me with that saying “I tried living in both worlds but” Because it’s exactly what I’ve been going through.
Having non-religious friends, trying to keep them, but they will just end up leaving you just because you can’t be that “big sinner” anymore. It somehow bothers them being in a company with someones who actually obeys the Lord!
I am really comforted to read this page, people. I thought I was becoming crazy since everyone left me, but reading all these experiences, I confirmed that it is solely for my enlightening by God.
It is relieving to read all of this.
Especially with Carolyn and Lupe too, that I also felt very closer to mine.
I found my path with God, or he found me, but I don’t know how you guys are going to cope with the fact that I’ll say that I’m not actually Christian, I’m Muslim.
And the reason I am here reading all of your similar experiences as mines, is because since the internet is more western, I’d surely find more topics than I’d find about Islam, and it is very similar to what we have, all of us, trust me.
It’s the same God after all who sent both of these prophets and in Our bible we are like brothers, and you are nearest people to our hearts.
With Love, from a Muslim person. Thank you all. May Our Lord enlighten us, and guide us to his blissful infinity.
I am so happy that I have came across this blog. All the comments were so inspiring to me. Right now I am in this battle and boy its one like no other. As the minute comes I feel like I’m becoming weaker and weaker in this battle. I want to let go of all things and focus o Christ. My good friends that I love so much I want to let them go. I want to stop doing so many things that are not of God so that I can focus on him. I wanted to start by distancing my self from my friends. And coming to this blog inspired me to make that step to do it. When God is calling us to serve him he will equip us. When we let go of things that are in the way of us becoming closer to him he will supply us with exactly what we need. If its new friends, it will be given. he does not want us to let go of our distractions so that we become lonely and miserable but so that he can bless us with better. Its hard but tomorrow because it will be a new year I want to take this step fwd. Im getting weaker but i feel like God voice is becoming more clear to me on what i need to do. Love you all, be blessed.
Great blog post! I haven’t had a chance to read everyone’s comments, just Priscilla’s. Priscilla, Without knowing much of your situation, I do want to encourage you to keep trying to have authentic relationship with your friends. I also want to suggest you reading a book by the name of “Boundaries”, by 2 authors with the last names Cloud and Townsend. It’s a phenomenal, empowering book about putting healthy, God honoring boundaries on the people in our lives and the freedom that comes from it. Since this book came out a ling time ago, they have written many “spin off” books, such as “Boundaries in Dating”, etc. They may even have one out about boundaries and friendships. I want to share with you one of the biggest points from that book that has always stuck with me: I’m paraphrasing, but it basically says that boundaries are a litmus test for the quality of our relationships…. That when you start putting boundaries to protect yourself, etc., some people really don’t like it. Some people are going to pull away, walk all over your boundaries or maybe even end the relationship. It says to let those people go, because they don’t truly truly love you or your friendship the way they should. They aren’t God’s best. Others, will learn to respect your boundaries and your feelings. They will value you and your friendship too much so let something like you’re maturing, growing and your boundaries get in the way. I am 40 years old and have been a Christian since I was under the age of 10. I grew up in the South where you’re often encouraged to be a people pleaser (at least back then) and I did not learn these principles or read the book until about 15 years ago. It would’ve saved me so much heart ache, frustration, and wasted time and energy, had I learned this when I was younger….especially for high school and college. The Lord encourages us to have healthy boundaries with people to protect us and them. I lost a lot of friends over the years for being a Christian. And truth be told, I just didn’t MAKE a lot of friends until after college BECAUSE I was a Christian. But I have made some the best, closest friends of my life through my women’s Bible studies at my church and the body of Christ. They are TRUE friends. People who I know without a doubt will be my true friend until we are old. People that who understand, as Joyce Meyer says, that “You can’t be in close relationship with someone and not get hurt” and who are willing to lovingly talk through problems that arise. Unfortunately, due to their own temperament or background, or the way they were raised, etc., there are people out there who do not handle conflict well and don’t have the capacity to work through problems in order to have an authentic friendship. There even family members like that. It is very sad, and difficult, especially when you’re the one that wants to have a real, genuine relationship but the other person only wants to keep it shallow and will not go any deeper. There is only so much you can do. You have to either accept them for who they are and where they’re at, and not expect anything more than what they are willing to give you… and you jave to somehow learn to be okay with that. Or, you have to walk away. It’s a very personal decision and there is no right or wrong and it, unless it is causing you to compromise your faith, or unless the Holy Spirit leads you in a particular direction. The best of luck to you, keep the faith, keep your eyes on Jesus and trust him to bring the right relationships and friendships into your life. If you are open to accepting His friendships that may look and feel a little different than the ones you’re used to, He will. Also know that some friendships last a lifetime, but many last only for a season. Even wonderful, close, Christlike friendships. I have had to learn this too, and it’s not always easy. These friendships and, not because of a fallout or someone did something wrong, but because the Lord just takes people in different directions and only meant those friendships to last for a season or two. And that’s ok. It’s about learning to accept His leading, timing and that He beings certain Christian friends into your life for a season to love on you and help you through that season (and vice versa); and that He brings others that will last decades and deepen over time. Try to appreciate and enjoy every friendship God brings into your life, because–as I’ve learned the hard way–you never know sometimes until the season abruptly ends if that person will continue to be there or not, or if The Lord will take you and your friendship in different directions. God bless you!
Ooh! I just reread my comment, and it is chock full of typos and grammatical errors! Sorry everybody!.. I typed this on my cell phone and didn’t check it like I normally do. Lol. 🙂
Mary Douglas says
Dont worry. Heart that loves God and others shines through the typos. And besides, you don’t know how MANY typos everybody else might have made on their way to posting land.
I just want to say what an inspiring post this was! I needed this so much right now. I lost a friend recently due to our difference in beliefs. I base mine on what the bible says is right and wrong, in this case referring specifically to the commandments. It’s so difficult and heartbreaking to try to explain beliefs to someone but they do not understand. On a lighter note, I am so thankful for the couple Christian friends I do have that I can connect spiritually with! It’s also so comforting to see the multitude of sisters in Christ we all have out there online supporting one another! God bless! 🙂
Might I add brothers in Christ as well!
Loved this post and all the comments.
I have just experience the loss of a very good friend and this article really helped my choice and of Jesus.Being called a bigot and unloving for my obedience in Christ broke my heart but my maturity in faith and to feel honored to stand for Christ is beautiful. I prayed for my friend and I still value her friendship and my door is open and I prayed that the Lord would enter her heart and to understand Jesus is love not bigotry and hate.
Thanks for sharing. It is painful and difficult to lose friendships because of faith in Christ Jesus. Especially because that friend is lost and you don’t want people you care about to go to hell. I know it isn’t going to be easy but I rather not be lukewarm and spit out of the Lord’s mouth or be told that He does not know me. It is hard being separate from the world when you live in it… But God is worth losing everything for.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate your honest reflection on the awkwardness and difficulty of rejection from friends. Thank you — hearing how others persevere through one of these beginning challenges is really encouraging!
It’s so uplifting to know that I’m not alone in this. Having someone who’s been a friend for 3 years say that our friendship is dead without any valid reason is heartbreaking. She claims that we don’t have anything to talk about anymore. It’s our first year in med school, her first year away from home and she’s abusing it. She’s changed, I guess. She’s been going out to the clubs almost every weekend and I’m worried for her. We haven’t had a proper conversation in weeks yet she seems to get along with everyone else just fine. It hurts. But then I think that’s it divine intervention, if it’s God’s will that this friendship ends here, then so be it. I’ll have to simply trust in him and his word. God is still good.
Romans 8: 28
Jenn Johns says
Wow, six years ago this post went up, and when I see a comment come on new in 2016, I’m reminded how we all have the same awkward struggles. And I’m also reminded of what an amazing God we have.
Some of the friendships in my life continued to grow at the time and some didn’t. And today I can understand the other side of that too. I was changing; my interests were changing. Who was this person? Was this some phase? It probably did seem weird.
But also around that time, God sent people into my life that have become some of the closest friends I have ever known. I cannot imagine my life today without them! Who would’ve seen that coming? When we let go of what we think we know and let God work… there is only perfection.
As I’m looking over these comments from the last few years, I just want to say thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences, and even now I am praying for you. God bless you.
Dee Bucci says
Many of us desire to please other’s. But I have come to realize especially in light of all that is prophetically coming to pass, is we are 1st and foremost accountable to God and no one else. We can not control what other CHOSE to think nor how they CHOSE to interpret or judge. We are accountable to live according to how Gods word says to live, to love those who are unlovable, to forgive those who, in the gentile world are unforgivable. It’s a conscience choice. Just as other’s are responsible for their actions towards us, we too are responsible for ours in response to them. We are to be seed planter’s of Gods Word, of Gods Love, of Gods Grace and of Gods Forgiveness. And when we faulter, it’s what we do even in that, that can make a Godly difference. God doesn’t need us to make a difference, He choose us 1st and waited on us to choose to believe in His Son Jesus and ask Him into our lives so He could use us through the Holy Spirit. This is a privelege. Will we do if perfectly? Maybe not. But if our hearts and our thoughts are in alingment with God and His Word we will never be ashamed to proclaim Him nor stand up for Him just because another person, family or friend disagrees, mocks or turns away from us. It’s their loss. Doesn’t His word say, to dust of your sandals and move on to the next? We should be praying for their Salvation, not worrying about our selfish friendship that if it were a true friendship they would love you for who you are, who your represent and they would respect you no matter what. To me, that is not love. And I believe I can say this, because I too have lost those whom I “thought” were friends, people I loved. I was their friend, but it was not returned the same. They turned away after 25+ years and they will say it had nothing to do my faith, but when you get to the truth of the matter, it had nothing to do with the fact I believe in Jesus, it has to do with the facts that my values changed, my morals changed, my way of living changed and my perspectives of many things have changed, they are no longer of this world they are of Gods World and that’s where the problem usually lies. We can’t live on the fence, we are either living for Christ or we are living against Him. There is a process through our walk, but we must get into alignment with Him, we must get our prioritites straight of who is Most important and who it is we are accountable to. He will prune us so we can bear good fruit, but we must be willing to be prunned.
Jenn Johns says
Great way to put it Dee. I know your insight will be just as helpful to others who read this as it was to me this morning. Thanks for your comment, and God bless you.
Thanks so much for all your comments. I’m am in the middle of losing three of my friends at the moment due to my faith and it hurts. I have been drawing closer to God this last month through being more disciplined about my daily bible reading and prayer. The women I thought were my friends went on a weekend couples retreat to the beach and didn’t invite my husband and I. Deep down I know why, because we no longer “party” like we used to and this post helped me to neon with it and let it go.
Jenn Johns says
I totally get it, and it hurts when that happens. Take heart because when you draw close to God He will draw close to you (James 4:8), and despite how we’re treated by others because of our faith, even our own friends and family, you will be blessed by the Lord who sees all.
Thank you for posting this. Its 5am and i was thinking about how recently God opened my eyes and saved me from living a life of sin. I have received Salvation and i have had loved ones leave my life and have suffered physically ( not using my body as an instrument of unrighteousness) emotionally (loved ones no longer in my life mentally (from rejection of job and people) . I was still at 5am thanking my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for saving me and my heart was filled with both Security in Christ and dissapointment , then i read the scripture you posted 1Peter 4:14. I cried and cried. But tears of Joy! Thank you
Jenn Johns says
Aw and THANK YOU for sharing your experience! In our saddest moments, we have HIM. And that’s everything. And you have a sister in Christ right here praying for you this week Tay. God bless you 🙂
Hello and thank you for this wonderful article! I feel this way currently and it is lonely when you decide to give your life over to Christ and not live for what the world says we should live for. Almost all of my relationships have changed and i know it will be for the good and not the bad but oh my it is a struggle not to feel lonely. I have been reading God’s word more to understand and trust in him, because I know I am not alone for God is with me and I give him all the glory to this wonderful life and all its struggles he lies in front of me to deepen my faith in him and to trust him in all of my life and not only part. I would encourage others to stay strong and reach out to other Christians to keep you on the path that God is leading you to. God Bless everyone and to our Veterans on this beautiful Veterans day I thank you!
Jenn Johns says
Thank you for sharing this great encouragement Deana! I have experienced this feeling, and while back then I didn’t know to stay in God’s word during that time, it is the best thing you can do (and, as you said, reaching out to other Christians). I have found that drawing closer to Him during times of hardship helps so much. It refreshes us, teaches us, reminds us of His promises and helps us fight the good fight. God bless you, and I will keep you in prayer for friends… the best He has just for you 🙂
Amazing how a post has sustained life for 6 years and counting, demonstrating its relevance to so many of us. I am also going through this season of social shifts as I increasingly give my life over to Jesus and fill with His Spirit. It is combined with the political spirit of the times where Conservative Christians are often shunned by “mainstream.” I was even “defriended” by someone I’ve known for years and that was disturbing as there are no political comments on my fb page, but she used a scraping tool so even if you “liked” a conservative page, the tool would defriend you. This is what we, as a country, have come to at this time. It emphasizes the need to not be on the fence with important values, though it can be a bit sad to have people who were once close just coldly walk away. When i feel this way, I go immediately to my best friend, Jesus, who knows all my needs. I know he is making a way for my new social life to be enriched with supportive fellowship so when I say “AMEN!” with joy, I don’t get the horrified looks! LOL! I’m looking forward to that further alignment and of course, I leave the door open for those who just can’t deal with who I am now. We never know when a seed will bloom but it’s not for us to control or manipulate. Just to have faith, be grateful we know the True One and get online and say “hey” to others like us in posts like this. Thank you so much for sharing this and starting a conversation so those of us can say hello to each other and know that we are not alone, even in the world (and never in the spirit!) God bless you all and the amazing journeys we are on!
Jenn Johns says
Hi! You are so right, and trust me, six years later I re-read this post because we just have to keep coming back over and over to Jesus as the one who walks with us even when all others leave. It’s sad to me how the political spirit of the times has brought so much division, but God is in control, and that’s where my focus stays. I love how 1 John 4:12 says, “No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God remains in us, and His love is perfected in us.” Keep your faith and remember, we’re a family in Christ. He’ll continue to bless you with the best of the best. He knows your heart! God bless you too 🙂
Hi i would like to thank you for this uplifting article i came across. I just recently came to christ a few months ago and my life has changed drastically already, and i couldnt be happier. The reason i am leaving this comment is to first bring glory to the father, by letting everyone and yourself know that god does exist and he does answer prayers. After seeing these two old friends of mine, after about 7 months of not seeing them because of my coming to christ. I tried to explain and give my testimony and it says on here, i felt a little mockery and saw their facial expressions, and i felt a little un easy. My day started off great then after that i felt so emotionally changed and in an odd mood and troubled and i didnt know why. I couldnt sleep, but i did pray about before i went to bed and this morning before i got up. I asked god to help me with this i dont know whats going on but i dont like it. Then i thought about last night, and i came online and found this! God is so great to me now, and he is real and there is power in prayer!. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS! i am at peace again. May god bless you, and may he get all the glory,honor, and praise. Thank you once again -Jovany soldier of christ
Jenn Johns says
Amen Jovany! When we’re given a new life in Christ, He truly blesses us with all we need… even friends. I pray for your peace and strength as you walk strong… and I pray for your friends that they come to taste and see that He is good. It’s all on God’s time and by His glory.
I have just recently joined a fabulous Bible Study and am excited about Jesus. I have always believed that Christ is our Savior but until recently had not delved into the Word.
I have a friend of 25 years. We talk about everything under the sun. I have been sharing a little information of my bible study, some things I’ve learned etc.
I caught myself once saying, “Oh, I am sorry didn’t mean to go off on a tangent.” She replied, that’s OK I believe in God.
So on to the BLAMO moment with her.
During one of our many daily conversations, her daughter had texted her while my friend and I were on the phone. She said, “Oh Great, Now Amy, (her daughter) is a Bible thumping, Jesus Crazy person too”.
There was silence, I could not believe she said that, and I don’t think she believed it came out
of her mouth. It was awkward.
I asked what her daughter had texted and she told me it some quote or something about belief and inspiration from God.
I asked her if she was talking about me, the “Bible thumping, etc.”.
She assured me that she was talking about the “real” crazy people that go overboard with
God and not me.
Well, it has been weeks. We still talk every day and I have not mentioned it. I feel strained and muted. I feel a “hole” between us now from my side. I don’t think she feels it.
It is hard now that I have made a decision to walk with Jesus and incorporate him into my
Still don’t know what I am going to do, the answer will come.
This site helped.
Walk with blessings everyone.
Jenn Johns says
Praying for you Donna. It is such a sobering feeling, isn’t it? I know it well. It’s hard to have such an amazing relationship with someone and then have this one important (vitally important) thing be so very off or lacking. But have faith sister, and pray that God will allow her to see Him through you. To see His goodness and grace shining through your faithful heart. And if it’s any help I totally used the words “Bible thumper” when I first met my husband. Little did I know what I was saying and how far off I was from knowing the truth. Romans 10:17 says faith comes from hearing, and that is hearing the Good News about Christ. Keep reading, keep learning, keep seeking Him. He’ll give you discernment.
God healed my mom and she gave glory to our Father in heaven by saying thank you God.
A migraine is an oppressive devil that causes pain and that devil was cast out through the laying of hands in the name of Jesus.
What an awesome God we serve.
Traci Roberts says
I was in a moment of praying and asking the LORD to show me TRUTH. When I got the nudge to just google my question, about losing friends the closer you get to God.…
The first thing that popped up was this article, and it was exactly what I needed to be reminded!!!!
I felt the Holy Spirit Confirm in my heart your testimony!!!! And I was deeply comforted!
2 Corinthians 1:3-5
New International Version
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,
4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.
Joe fallon says
Hi jen i have been reading some of the comments and i was not surprised at some situations christians find themselves in. I have been a christian for 4 years. My wife is a christian and our son goes to church with us and is a believer. Some of my family have mocked my faith and work colleagues and so called friends but i do have some family and friends who dont judge but i just feel so sorry for people who dont believe, they dont realise that Jesus still loves them but they keep pushing him away. Being a christian can be hard but we have a Saviour who keeps shouting our corner even when we mess up ourselves. I have messed up at times and i try not to sin but i always feel guilty if i do and i ask God to forgive me. Many Blessings brothers and sisters. Amen.
Emilia, Finland says
This is so familiar for me as a Christian. I’ve also lost friends after they found out I’m a conservative Christian. They seem shocked that I hold a deeply religious worldview and that I give them a straight answer when they ask what I think about a religious subject. I’ve learnt that being a believing Christian will cost you friends. That’s why I don’t want to make new friendships with atheists anymore. What I’ve learnt is that they love to ridicule religious people harshly and they can’t tolerate different worldviews. All the talk about tolerance seems to mean that I have to change my mind and believe the things they believe. Well, I don’t. I believe in Jesus and I’m not going to change my beliefs no matter how hard they ridicule me. It really feels like walking through fire.
I pray for Christian friends now. I do still have a couple of friends who are atheists and we have remained friends even though we have different worldviews probably because we started being friends when we were teenagers. So the longevity of our friendship has saved our friendship. I respect their right for their worldview. We rarely talk religion and that’s ok but I don’t hide my beliefs from them. Religious freedom seems to be eroding: people expect Christians to shut up or face the consequences for speaking up. It has been painful to lose friends and it has made me careful when religion comes up. I do wear a cross and I definitely notice that people look at it and not in a positive way.
I hope you’re still writing because I haven’t yet had a chance to view new posts. This one is from 2010 which showed in a Google search on my quest to find some guidance. I have started and stopped my subscription to “The Christian Thing” more times than I have changed a password for my Facebook or email accounts. But I have realized that the good life i had in a time when I lived in Indiana was not the fact that I’d lived in Indiana. The state didn’t have much to do with how great my life felt, it was my faith. The past several years I’ve blamed myself for making the decision to move back to Colorado because Indiana fit me better. But now that I’ve realized it wasn’t the specific location at all, it was my faith and trust and relationship with God which made my life tolerable. I wouldn’t say easy, because nothing is easy. And now that I have made this decision, I have suffered one friendship severed last week and another great one today. The latter of the two being incredibly atheistic. Mind you, I’m in a spot in my life where I’ve had to rely on monthly help from those two people. So I’m not just losing a friend, I am losing much more of what helped keep my dignity as a human being.
Thank you for this post, though. I will follow your blog and if this is powered through WordPress, I am back to writing my blog too. But for now, I have to read some of your other posts because I resonate with your writing.
Eric Freeman says
WHY SHOULD I STILL BELIEVE IN GOD IF HE LETS THIS HAPPEN TO ME? SHOULD I LEAVE THE FAITH AND BELIEVE IN SOMETHING ELSE?
Denova Diddeldorf says
A few years back, in praying Office of Readings, and Morning prayer, I came across a quote, ” Do not be sad if the Lord takes your friends away”. I cannot, for the life of me, remember whose saying that was.
It was a reading that struck me, and have never forgotten it. Friends are a gift from God. Why would God retract his gift to someone? Well, He was speaking to me, because He did exactly that.
It’s why that quote stayed in my mind. He was speaking directly to me. Trials are part of our believing. The Lord has suffered, and so must we.
Trust me, the suffering is great in it’s own way. I’m still dealing with it, but it;’s the most difficult thing in my life. Anyone know who’s quote this was? St. Paul? St. Augustine?
Sarah Welch says
Thank you so much for your piece, even though it was awhile ago. I truly aspire to gain the same faith and wisdom that you have by choosing to lead a life surrounded by God’s guidance. Here recently I too have been struggling to decide whether or not one of my closest friends still has a spot in my life. Not because they are a bad person, but because I have been feeling for quite some time that we have grown apart in different ways.
I have found myself growing closer to God each and everyday. I try my absolute hardest to dive into his word and understand the influence he has in my life. I have always been a Christian, but never as devout as I aspire to be. I want to feel God’s very hand in my life.
I wanted to ask you if we could maybe exchange emails or texts to talk more about the struggles I am experiencing with my friend. I am a senior in college and I feel as if some doors are closing as I open doors to lead me to Christ. I hope you have a blessed day.