Her tone held an accusatory bite—perhaps meant to justify the growing distance between us. Or maybe to put the blame on me. Regardless, I was devastated.
At first, the thought made me remorseful. After all, it was costing me a twenty-five-year friendship, a friendship that had survived marriages, children, and multiple moves. As I thought about it, God reminded me change is a good thing—a godly thing.
If we do what has God called us to do—imitate Christ, renew our minds, put the old self to death, and walk forward in our new life—we will change. And the people around us will notice, especially those who don’t follow Christ.
I didn't intentionally offend my friend. I quietly and respectfully lived out my faith in front of her--answering her questions and showing her a loving Savior. She walked forward without Christ; I continued with Him. When things fell apart, I tried to find out what went wrong and make amends. It didn’t work. At some point, as God changed me, my faith became her stumbling block, and she walked away.
Following Christ comes at a temporal cost, but the eternal rewards are far greater. That’s what motivated Paul to say, “More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ” (Philippians 3:8 NASB).
Faith won’t always ruin a friendship and is often the inroad to bring a friend to faith. However, the time may come when we must choose between compromising to preserve a friendship and pursuing Christ at all costs.
Ask God for the strength to faithfully follow Him. Then watch as He slowly conforms you to the image of Christ.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)