‘Do not regard them as an enemy, but warn them as you would a fellow believer.’2 Thessalonians 3:15
What should we do when a friend or family member seems to go the opposite way from what God says is right? Here are a few tips for when we find ourselves in that situation: 1) Speak up with love. It’s important that we do speak up rather than just ignore what’s happening. However, we need to speak with love. The Bible says we should be ‘speaking the truth in love’ (Ephesians 4:15 NIV). If we condemn people, we can push them away. We need to remind them that God loves them and that His commands are given to us from a place of love. When we obey Him, we’ll experience the best things in our lives. 2) Don’t abandon them. Sometimes it’s right for us to walk away from a friendship, especially if it’s harming us to stay in it, but in other circumstances we need to stick with people and help them come back to God. The Bible says: ‘Do not regard them as an enemy, but warn them as you would a fellow believer.’ We shouldn’t turn against them, but continue to love them as God does. 3) Pray for them. It can be easy for us to fall into the trap of trying to fix people and their situations. But that can cause us to feel stressed and overwhelmed. The best thing we can do is to pray for the person. This hands the situation over to God and reduces the burden we place on ourselves. We can’t control other people, or fix their problems, but we can invite God to come and do the things we can’t. He can turn people’s lives around and bring them back to Him. What Now? Is there someone in your life who is doing something that isn’t right? Take some time to pray for them, and if it feels right, try and speak to them with gentleness and love.