Friendships with unbelievers/people who have went astray
Is it ok to be friends with “non-believers”?
First you have to define the type of “friend”;
Friend- person attached to another by affection or regard
Acquaintance- person one knows casually
- Acquaintance Friends; these are people you merely come across in you daily life. Perhaps it is a friend of a friend, perhaps a neighbor, someone online, etc. These are people who you like or want to stay on great terms with, but don’t really have enough in common with them, or for some other reason, simply never really spend any time with them. You tend to only see them or talk to them on rare or isolated occasions (unless you work together), and that is the extent of your relationship. These are usually more shallow in terms of emotional connections and bonds, but still a loving type of friendships in the spirit (basically you get along with each other just fine)
- Close Friends; those who you spend a great deal of time with, talk with or communicate with often, go to the movies with, etc. These are people that you trust in and you have a deep relationship with and an emotional bond.
Once you have established the type of friendship that is in question then you can understand how to address or present yourself to that person: It’s always on an individual bases.
Having companions or acquaintances just means you have a lot of people that you know and/or people that may even know you but they don’t care enough about you to make sure the way that you live your life is on the correct track.
We cannot mistake this passage with James 4:4 (Friendship with the world is enmity against God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God).
A friend is someone who is willing to put the friendship on the line to help you make the right decisions and to make sure you are representing the King in the right way.
Anyone who takes offense to correction or advice when it comes to your walk with Christ should reveal to you that your heart needs to be checked and repentance needs to occur before you take any further actions.
- The great commission was rendered to make disciples of all nations but in order for that to occur, the people had to become believers and in order for the people to become believers the disciples had to make friends or at least be friendly. (Friendly is not always being “Dr. Feelgood” when you tell someone that they are a sinner).
Matthew 5:13-16 says that we are the light of the world and that we should set the example to those who are watching us so that our works can be seen as good and then they can give glory to God.
This includes our “friends” who are close to us and the friends who are acquaintances.
Everyone who knows you should know you to be someone that they can come to in a time of need or a time of question about life, spiritual growth and or salvation.
So in conclusion to the question “is it okay to be friends with a non-believer” would definitely be “YES” with the regards that you are showing the love of Jesus and with the purpose of winning them to Jesus. Be the one to set the example for them instead of them setting the example for you.
So how can I be a good friend to someone? Ephesians 5:1-20